Billiat doubtful for Zim opener against Egypt in Cairo: Chidzambwa

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Zimbabwean and Kaizer Chiefs international attacker Khama Billiat is racing against time to be match fit for the critical African Cup of Nations (Afcon) opening match against the hosts Egypt at the Cairo Stadium on Friday.

Billiat hasn’t trained since last Thursday after picking up a knee injury.

With the game against the Pharaohs only two days away, the Zim Warriors head coach Sunday Chidzambwa was asked about the Amakhosi’ star’s availability for this game at the press conference held at the match venue on Wednesday.

On Friday, the Warriors will come face to face with a Cairo International Stadium that will be filled to the rafters with 99% of that crowd in favour of the hosts.

Chidzambwa is banking on the experience of his players to carry them through.

Group A has Egypt, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.

During the qualifiers, the Warriors topped a group that had the DRC Leopards, Congo-Brazzaville and Liberia. Chidzambwa says their current group is something they can handle.

On a sad note, a knee injury has ruled out midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu out of this tournament after he was injured during the friendly match against Tanzania this past weekend. And Chidzambwa says they are yet to decide on a replacement.

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana’s preparations for their Afcon opening game against Ivory Coast next Monday, were dealt a major blow when Angola withdrew from a planned training match on Wednesday afternoon.

SABC Sport understands that the Angolan team hasn’t trained since they arrived in Egypt two days ago and its alleged that a strike by players is behind this.

A source close to the Palancas Negras camp hinted that the Angolan team has been having challenges long before coming to this tournament.

Bafana vice-captain Dean Furman remains positive going to this tournament. Report by Velile Mnyandu

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