Despite Khama Billiat producing two fine goals which earned Zimbabwe a vital 2-1 win over Zambia in Lusaka on Tuesday, the player was involved in a somewhat controversial incident in the second half.
The jersey No 11 forward received a yellow card five minutes into the second period when he argued with the referee after he was ordered to leave the pitch and change his short.
Billiat had swapped shorts with right-back Ian Nakati who wears jersey No 2. The short numbers, however, were not clearly visible as the patches had peeled off.
This mix-up happened before the game started and the referee only came to know about it in the second half.
As Billiat protested against the referee’s order, it caused a two-minute stoppage. He received a booking for remonstration and that is when Nekati rushed and took his team-mate to the sideline and changed the shorts.
The stoppage happened when the hosts were attacking and this, with no doubt, affected their momentum.
But they regrouped moments later and the Warriors were forced to play deep again and relied much on counter-attacks using long balls.
Billiat’s match-winning goal came in the 79th minute after Ovidy Karuru intercepted a long through ball and quickly launched a counter-attack. The 29-year old scored the opening goal in the 10th minute but Patson Daka restored parity nine minutes later.