Khama Billiat celebrates with the Kaizer Chiefs substitutes and support staff as coach Giovanni Solinas looks on after scoring against Zimamoto. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

While Khama Billiat rightly grabbed the headlines for scoring his first ever hat trick in international club competitions, Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas was delighted that his defence kept a clean sheet against Zimamoto.

The Amakhosi got their Caf Confederation Cup campaign off to a perfect start as they thrashed the Zanzibar side 4-0 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Zimbabwean star Billiat got the ball rolling with a stunning free kick within the first 10 minutes.

But it took Chiefs another 50 minutes to score the second, with Billiat finishing off an assist from Leonardo Castro.

Kabelo Mahlasela rounded off a through-ball from Bernard Parker in the 68th minute, before Billiat completed his hat trick with a penalty.

Chiefs were put on the back foot by their 2-1 defeat to Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout semi-final at the weekend, which followed a three-match unbeaten run since the last Soweto Derby, which the Buccaneers also clinched 2-1.

That is why Solinas was pleased with his team’s composure against Zimamoto.

“We did well to dominate them. Mainly, I’m impressed by the reaction from the lads after the derby loss. They really showed hunger and commitment to bounce back. The victory is a good boost for the team’s morale,” the Italian said on the Amakhosi website on Thursday.

“It is important to win home games in this competition. We didn’t want to leave anything to chance, hence we fielded some fresh legs for this match.

“I’m happy for the two lads (Billiat and Mahlasela). Strikers must get this kind of game to return to scoring form, and for Kabelo to open his account.

“It is good that we didn’t concede, because a goal could swing the game and give them some motivation. Now, we will prepare to go to Zanzibar next Tuesday to consolidate this victory.”

Next up for Chiefs will be Golden Arrows in a Premiership clash on Saturday at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu (6pm kickoff).

Chiefs are sixth in the league with 18 points, five behind the table-topping Pirates.

@ashfakmohamed


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