WARRIORS midfielder Khama Billiat says he is not worried about the special attention he is likely to receive from the Angolans in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2013 final football qualifier return leg at the November 11 Stadium in Luanda.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso
The gifted Ajax Cape Town star was the chief architect in the Angolans’ downfall in the 3-1 first leg win at Rufaro Stadium after putting on a breathtaking display which he capped off with a brilliant goal. He was deservedly named the man-of-the-match.
Speaking after yesterday’s training session at the Italian Sports Club in the capital, Billiat said he was unfazed about the impending hostile reception.
“I’m not worried about how they are going to try to stop me from playing my normal game. It’s not something new to me. In fact, I’m used to it and that’s why I’m always trying to improve my game with each and every match so that I’m always a step ahead.
“In any case, if the Angolans try to unsettle me it could work to their disadvantage as it would allow my teammates to take advantage,” said a visibly confident Billiat.
The Aces Soccer Youth Academy product said instead, he was focused on remaining fit to ensure that he would be ready to deliver come Sunday.
“My only concern is that I must keep myself in good shape and remain fit so that I’ll be able to represent my country and hopefully do well.”
Billiat said the players were working hard at training and were fully aware that the Angolans would be motivated by playing in front of their home fans. The venue carries 50 000 fans.
“Everyone is looking sharp and ready to go because there is a lot at stake. The boys understand how important it is to play for your country and how this game is important for us at this crucial stage.
“We know we are just 90 minutes away from realising our dream of playing at the Africa Cup of Nations finals and we all want to be part of history,” said the Ajax Cape Town man.
“We know playing at Afcon is good not only for our football as a whole, but also for our individual careers and we are looking forward to making sure we don’t miss out.
“This is one of those games that you don’t need to be reminded how important it is because we know where we have come from and what we want to achieve for the nation. Some of the players, including me, might not have been in such a situation before, but I will make sure I take the opportunity and make sure I make the most of it.”
He admitted the Angolans would be a different team on Sunday as they had already called in Brazil-based Geraldo.
They have also called up five players from the Under-20 side that has qualified for the Africa Youth Championships.
“Obviously the Angolans will be a completely different team playing at home, but we are working hard to ensure we match them,” Billiat said. The Warriors trained twice at the Italian Sports Club yesterday with the second session graced by a full complement of players in the evening session.
The trio of Cyprus-based Noel Kaseke, Belgium-based Vusa Nyoni and South Africa-based defender Carlington Nyadombo sat out the morning training session after having arrived from their bases after the session had started. They, however, joined the rest of the team during the second session, which was also boosted by the arrival of Quincy Antipas, Archford Gutu, Onismor Bhasera and skipper Esrom Nyandoro.