How Billiat inspired Maart's Soweto derby wonder-goal

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Yusuf Maart of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium, in Johannesburg on the 29 October 2022 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Yusuf Maart of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates goal with teammates during the DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium, in Johannesburg on the 29 October 2022 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs star Khama Billiat has revealed the game-changing advice he gave Yusuf Maart in the build-up to midfielder's Soweto derby-winning goal last month.

Maart emerged as the hero of the day for Kaizer Chiefs during last month's 1-0 Soweto derby win over Orlando Pirates after netting a Goal of the Season contender from inside his own half to earn his side bragging rights.

The 27-year-old put himself in contention for the famed FIFA Puskas award after beating Bucs goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane with a long-ranged effort after teammate Khama Billiat had won the ball from Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo.

READ | Maart wonder-goal earns early FIFA Puskas award nod

Billiat's role in the goal appears to have been more instrumental than merely regaining possession after the former Zimbabwe international revealed that he had pointed out Mpontshane's positioning to Maart earlier in the game. 

"This is what happened. When we were playing in the first half, Maart was always trying to pass to me and as a striker, of course, I am always checking the goalkeeper and where the opponents are," Billiat told Kaizer Chiefs' Vodacom Ringa Nathi show.

"So, in the first half he passed to me, but when I looked back the goalkeeper was way off his line. So I went to him and I said, 'Before you pass to me, just check the goalkeeper because you might have to hit it.'

"It was just the heat of the moment. I was just telling him it was another option but I never thought he would have taken it. I went after and told him, did you see how far he was coming off? And he said he saw him, so he said let's try it, whoever gets the chance and make him work.

"So when I saw the opponent [Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo] getting the ball, I thought we had to press here because the goalkeeper is out already and if we press he won't get back.

READ | Was Billiat's challenge on Ndlondlo a foul?

"We went to press and it got loose, because he's diligent and with the great technique he has, he hit him. I didn't think he took the advice, I thought it was just a football conversation. Sometimes you say things and then boom, the 90 minutes is gone."

Asked if he went to claim credit for the goal, Billiat lightheartedly added, " No, it's for him, he's a good player and it was his decision. We get told a lot of things from the coaches and how to prepare, but it's not easy to do in the game. 

"It's fast so to make the right decision is difficult, and for him to remember in the heat of the moment, check and use the right technique was great. You don't see that a lot."

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