Ernst Middendorp in another war with Zim over Khama Billiat

Khama Billiat's injuries while playing for his national team Zimbabwe are a source of frustration for Chiefs.
Khama Billiat's injuries while playing for his national team Zimbabwe are a source of frustration for Chiefs.
Image: BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has once again voiced his displeasure over the handling of his international players after star Khama Billiat returned from the national team with another injury.

Amakhosi badly missed Billiat in their Telkom Knockout semifinal clash against Maritzburg United which they lost 2-1 in Mbombela on Sunday. Billiat apparently exacerbated his hamstring while on duty for Zimbabwe last week.

"It's upsetting, he already went to the national team with a tight hamstring and there is nothing we can do," said Middendorp.

"He played with pain against Botswana and played against Zambia (last week). It was not going to be possible. We tried, but it was impossible to bring him in."

It's not the first time the German expressed frustration with Zimbabwe. Earlier in the season Billiat picked up an injury while playing for his country.

Amakhosi suffered the consequences as the team lacked creativity in midfield in their loss to United. Middendorp felt his players were perhaps mentally thinking ahead of themselves.

"It's a deserved win [for Maritzburg] they had opportunities to score the second goal earlier and our defence was definitely not present. Our combination through the midfield was non-existent and we were just a bit surprising," he said.

Amakhosi return to the league in which they showed great form and are top of the standings. Billiat will undergo a fitness test ahead of their clash against Stellenbosch in Cape Town Stadium (7.30pm).

Fixtures (all 7.30pm)

Tonight: Highlands v Wits, Makhulong; Pirates v Polokwane, Orlando; Sundowns v AmaZulu, Loftus

Tomorrow: Stellenbosch v Chiefs, Cape Town Stadium; Maritzburg v SuperSport, Harry Gwala Stadium; Chippa v Leopards, Nelson Mandela Bay; Baroka v Arrows, Peter Mokaba Stadium; Celtic v CPT City, Dr Molemela Stadium

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