A second half capitulation in the second leg of the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier denied Zimbabwe an opportunity to participate at this year’s finals in Ghana.
Goals from Hellen Chanda and Barbra Banda canceled out Erina Jeke’s opener at the death of the first half.
With a 2-0 aggregate lead after three quarters of the 2-legged encounter, Zimbabwe looked poised to progress, but the Mighty Warriors’ defensive frailties left them heartbroken.
Zimbabwe struggled to impose themselves throughout the game, with Zambia looking dangerous every time they were in the offensive third.
Zambia fluffed several chances before the interval, but an improved performance in the second half earned them the right to play among the best eight nations between 17 November and 1 December.
Bruce Mwape was delighted by the result, especially considering that this is a new team which outwitted experienced Zimbabwean players.
“I am very happy with the result, Zimbabwe has been our obstacle starting way back in 2014 … this time around we managed to make a few changes.
“We are just trying to build a new team, so this kind of result is encouraging,” Mwape said.
Mighty Warriors coach, Sithethelelwe Sibanda said the players lost concentration in critical moments despite having done well overall.
“It’s very unfortunate but such things happen in football, obviously we are not happy about it.
“[It was] lack of concentration at the back, the defence failed to track the run [of Barbra Banda], we knew of the pace they possess, and we were punished.
We played well, but unfortunately, we could not hold on to the lead.
Zimbabwe had won the first leg away through a goal scored by Rutendo Makore.