The Warriors collected four out of a possible six points against a fancied DR Congo side with players like Yannick Bolasie and Gael Kakuta.
After stunning DR Congo 1-2 in Kinshasa, the Warriors had every reason to fancy their chances of completing a double over the Leopards when DR Congo came to Harare on Tuesday evening.
It looked even more realistic when Khama Billiat tapped in Knox Mutizwa’s layoff in the second minute.
There were fewer clear chances in this match compared to the one played four days prior in Kinshasa.
Apart from the own goal scored by Teenage Hadebe in the 24th minute to hand DR Congo a lifeline, Zimbabwe once again produced a trademark defensive performance.
In the absence of suspended Alec Mudimu, FC Platinum’s Kevin Moyo partnered Hadebe in central defence.
Goalkeeper George Chigova was injured in the 30th minute and Edmore Sibanda took over for the remaining hour.
Before DR Congo’s equaliser, Knox Mutizwa’s celebrations had been cut short by the near side assistant referee who adjudged Billiat to have been in an offside position when he received the ball which he later fed to Mutizwa.
Coach Sunday Chidzambga was satisfied with a point even though more would have been better.
“I think we all know that DRC are not a small team. They are a very big team and we did well to come away with three points in DRC.
“It doesn’t happen often there. They came here with a very good game plan but we had ours and, I can say, the plans drew. These things happen in football,” Chidzambga said.
DRC coach FLorent Ibenge conceded that the early goal had unsettled his team but he also rued chances missed by his team.
“The match wasn’t easy. We had come here to win. Unfortunately, they scored against us in the first minute and everything changed from there although we tried our best to come back into the game.
“In the second-half we tried our best to contain their attacks so that we could catch them on the counter-attack. We had some good chances, but we failed to capitalise although that could have won us three points,” Ibenge said.
Zimbabwe remained top of Group G with 8 points, 3 clear of Tuesday’s opponents. In the other match, Liberia beat Congo 2-1 and booth teams are now tied on 4 points.
The next round of matches is scheduled for mid-November and the final group games will be played in 2019.