Kaizer Chiefs star Billiat: We don’t win the Caf Champions League in the first game

Khama Billiat, Kaizer Chiefs, October 2020
Amakhosi are in Cameroon to play in the continent’s elite club competition for the first time since 2016

Kaizer Chiefs attacker Khama Billiat has warned his teammates against getting carried away if they win Sunday’s Caf Champions League preliminary round, first leg match against Cameroonian champions PWD Bamenda, while also reminding them that negative results can push them for better results ahead.

Gavin Hunt's Chiefs are back in the Champions League where they last took part in 2016, when they were eliminated by Ivorian giants Asec Mimosas at the first round stage.

They arrived in Cameroon on Friday on the backdrop of a difficult run at home and would want to bury their domestic woes with victory over PWD Bamenda.

“I have been telling the guys nothing is different game-wise, but the score-line out in Africa is important, a draw away from home means a lot,” Billiat told the Kaizer Chiefs website.

"They need to understand that we don’t win the competition in the first game, it’s a work in progress and that sometimes negative results in this competition can help give you the energy you need going forward.

“It’s going to be tough. Other teams will do everything to throw you off, some teams have a lot of experience in travelling and knowing the other cultures, they know how to intimidate their opponent teams and we just need to be focused.”

Chiefs are participating in this competition with a number of players who have previously participated on the continent in both club and international football.

Billiat and Leonardo Castro won the 2016 Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns and are regarded as the most experienced players in the squad.

The likes of Eric Mathoho, goalkeepers Daniel Akpeyi and Itumeleng Khune, Lebogang Manyama and defender Daniel Cardoso have experience from playing international football with their respective national teams.

“Having the experience will definitely help the team as it will motivate the guys,” said Billiat.

"We have extremely talented players who can adjust quickly. We want to challenge ourselves and see how well we can do.

“We need to go out there and challenge in Africa and take this team back to where it belongs. It starts now and we need to rise to the task at hand and test our character against big teams out there.

"If you are able to play for Chiefs you are able to play anywhere.

"To play for Chiefs means that you are a good player and football is the same, the more confidence the team gets the better we bond as one unit.”

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Of late, much of Chiefs’ focus had been on domestic competitions, having last played in Africa during the 2018/19 season, when they were eliminated from the Caf Confederation Cup by Zesco United in the play-off round on a 5-2 aggregate scoreline after losing both legs.

Interestingly, Chiefs midfielder Anthony Akumu was one of the scorers for Zesco when they won the second leg 2-1 at FNB Stadium while another chief forward Lazarous Kambole had netted in the 3-1 first-leg victory in Ndola.

But both players are currently struggling to find their feet at Amakhosi with Kambole being a shadow of a player who finished as joint top-scorer of the 2018 Champions League.