Billiat backs misfiring Musona

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KHAMA Billiat has backed misfiring Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona to rediscover his scoring form after yet another disappointing outing during the Warriors’ 1-1 draw against Uganda in their second Africa Cup of Nations Group A encounter at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday evening.

BY DANIEL NHAKANISO IN CAIRO, EGYPT

Musona, who was the hero of Zimbabwe’s Afcon qualification campaign with five goals has yet to spark into life at the continental showpiece here in Egypt.

After enduring a difficult season at Anderlecht last season before ending the season on loan at relegated SC Lokeren , the 29 year-old Belgium-based star has appeared sluggish and short of confidence so far in the tournament.

Musona was blamed for being at fault for the lone goal the Warriors conceded against Egypt last Friday while it was also his two glaring misses against Uganda on Wednesday night which cost Zimbabwe as they were held to a 1-1 draw.
After the Cranes took a 12th-minute lead through Emmanuel Okwi Musona should have equalised but fired over from close range and was guilty of an even worse effort in the second half when he hit the crossbar with an open goal from six metres.

Billiat, who levelled for the wasteful Warriors five minutes before the break has backed his misfiring skipper to rediscover his goal scoring form and believes he remains the best goal scorer the nation has.

“He’s our top striker, our top scorer,” Billiat told reporters after the match.

“He has scored unbelievable goals and I remember the first game we played in the qualifiers for this tournament when we played Liberia he scored three goals and he has scored many important goals for us.”

The 28-year-old forward was one of the outstanding Warriors in the defeat at the hands of Egypt before putting on a Man of the Match performance against Uganda said Musona should not be judged by his performance in the first two matches alone.

Musona has the ideal stage to rediscover his best form in Sunday’s do or die clash with Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Warriors need a win to progress to the knockout stage of the competition for the first time.

“We can’t even think he’s not a good player for missing. It happens in football. I’ve missed so many chances myself that were more important and we need to support him. We need him more because we know he’s the best player that we have and we’re going to support him as much as we can,” he said.

The Kaizer Chiefs striker said the Warriors need to improve on their game management and be ruthlessness up-front if they are to entertain any hopes of progressing in the Afcon finals.

“We just need to learn to manage the game better, to know when to go forward and not to give away silly fouls.

Today Uganda were not in a hurry and we gave away fouls which gave them a chance to regroup and it killed the momentum for us. We just need to improve on our game management and make sure we score goals and take our chances, he said.

Billiat added: “We really need to break the ice, score more goals and give confidence to the team and I think the rest will fall into place after that.”

Egypt reached six points to top group A and secure their qualification to the second round following a 2-0 win over DRC, while Uganda have four points from two matches, with a game against the Pharaohs to go.

The Warriors have a point from as many games, and make history by qualifying for the knockout stages of this tournament for the first time if they can beat the Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday.

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