Khama Billiat’s goal in the second minute of added time sent Zimbabwe through to the group phase of the FIFA World Cup after a 3-2 aggregate victory over Somalia in Harare on Tuesday. The Warriors were staring at elimination after Omar Abdullahi Mohammed cancelled out Marshall Munetsi’s goal five minutes from time.
However, a fight back from the home side saw substitute Admiral Muskwe take them 2-1 up and 2-2 level on aggregate, with Billiat’s stunner handing them a 3-1 win at home and a ticket to the next phase of qualification.
Zimbabwe had suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the Ocean Boys in Djibouti last week and needed a massive improvement at home to sail through. They had the chances with Billiat’s two freekicks in the opening half sailing wide.
With 14 minutes to go, they came to life with Munetsi’s overhead kick from the edge of the six yard box handing them a 1-0 lead. A defensive mistake by Teenage Hadebe gave Somalia a route back into the game after Mohammed intercepted to race through on goal to beat the keeper one on one.
However, Zimbabwe fought like warriors with Muskwe’s freekick taking a wicked deflection in the 86th minute while off a counter, Billiat sent a rocket of a shot into the top left corner of the Somali goal to hand Zimbabwe a lifeline.
Meanwhile, Djibouti also progressed to the group stages after holding eSwatini to a 0-0 draw in Manzini to progress having won the first leg 2-1 in Djibouti city.