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Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
WITH so much at the stake in the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Congo at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday, Warriors forward Khama Billiat has sensibly chosen to remain an oasis of calmness.
The Kaizer Chiefs star yesterday sought to calm the nerves when he arrived for camp, among the quartet of early birds, which included goalkeeper George Chigova, striker Evans Rusike and defender Teenage Hadebe.
Billiat said Zimbabwe had no reason to panic since the Warriors have their fate in their hands after taking control of Group G from the start of the qualifiers.
“I think the guys all know how important this game is and we are all professionals,’’ said Billiat.
“We have been dying for this situation and I am sure every nation would like to be in this situation right now whereby it’s only us who can determine our future.
“The guys know, and we pray to God and hope everyone will be in the right shape on the day, we need the right mindset.
“We are fully focused on for the game and we have got one week of knowing each other, getting to work some combinations and stuff like that.
“I am sure for this game, we don’t need to be motivated by anything else. Already, the whole nation knows how important it is, the whole Africa knows how important it is and it’s just being here and enjoying being with the national team, enjoying meeting your fellow brothers, being in your country.
“I think this is the best way we can do it, while we are here at home.”
The Kaizer Chiefs forward has been a subject of intense criticism after appearing to lose his touch following a move from Mamelodi Sundowns.
But he has slowly been clawing back to his usual form and he appeared to remind his critics with a fantastic goal in his last ABSA Premiership game.
The Warriors top Group G with eight points going into the decisive round of matches and will only need to avoid defeat to book their place at this year’s AFCON finals in Egypt. Group G remains open with all the four teams, including DRC and Liberia who clash in Kinshasa, still in with a chance.
“I think it will be in our best interest to look at our performance and how we want to do things on the weekend rather than looking at what’s happening elsewhere,’’ said Billiat.
“We are the only people who can do ourselves a favour and the whole nation a favour by just putting everything that we can on the day and give everything and the whole nation will be happy.’’