The Warriors of Zimbabwe winger, Khama Billiat, believes that their Saturday’s friendly match against the Super Eagles and another clash against Black Stars of Ghana on June 16 will toughen them going into the AFCON in Egypt, Completesports.com reports.
The 29-year-old Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa attacking midfielder who won the 2016 CAF Champions League and 2017 CAF Super Cup with Mamelodi Sundowns, also of South Africa, spoke at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba Friday evening.
Billiat, who won the South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) player of the season (2016) as well as PSL midfielder of the Year 2016 stressed that it was important starting their fourth AFCON finals campaign against hosts, Pharaohs of Egypt on June 21 on the back of two quality friendly games like Super Eagles and Black Stars.
“We’re here to test our level of preparation for the Nations Cup. After this game with Super Eagles who are a big team in Africa with quality players and who have won the (AFCON) trophy three times, we also have another game with Ghana (Black Stars) before the Nations Cup starts in Egypt,” Billiat said.
“When you play these two great teams before a championship starts, it puts you in the right mood irrespective of the outcome .
“They are top teams, so the games will be tough and of course, it is good for us because it will make us tougher.”
Billiat has spent all his professional career so far in the South African top league, PSL, with stints at CAPS United (2010), Ajax Cape Town (2010-2013), Mamelodi Sundowns (2013-2018) and Kaizer Chiefs (2018).
The diminutive forward applauded CAF for increasing the number of AFCON finalists to 24, saying it fast tracks the development of game in the continent.
“It gives every country opportunity to qualify and participate in the AFCON. Every country wants to be a part of it and when you raise the number, then, it makes room for other countries to be there.
“The game is growing fast in Africa and no team is regarded as small these days. I think it is a good move by CAF”.
Similarly, Billiat welcomes FIFA’s 48 team World Cup proposal.
“For me, yes, I think it is good,” he snapped.
Billiat made his Zimbabwe senior national team debut on March 26, 2011, in an AFCON qualifier against Mali, scoring his first international goal in a friendly match against Zambia in August 2011.
Since then, he has scored 13 goals in 35 appearances for the Zimbabwe’s Warriors.