Zimbabwe reached the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations following a 2-0 victory over Congo on Sunday to finish Group G on top with eleven points.
The Warriors needed at least a draw going into the match, but two first-half goals from Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona put the icing on the cake as they close the qualification round in style.
Despite an early scare in the first minute when the visitors launched a quick attack, the Warriors managed to cool the nerves and dominated possession in the coming moments. They went on to create some good chances including that of Evans Rusike in the fourth minute which went straight into the hands of the keeper.
The Red Devils from Central Africa tried to find their rhythm along the way, but the unpleasant pitch conditions affected the flow of the ball. They threatened at some points though it was the home team who got the breakthrough first.
A well-executed free-kick from the edge of the box by Billiat on the 20th minute separated the teams for the first time in the game.
Marshall Munetsi followed up with a fine strike just outside the box which went over the target, and Merveil Ndockyt went wide from a tight angle on the other end.
A mistake at the back by Fernand Mayembo saw Musona pouncing on the ball before unleashing a sublime volley to double the advantage for Zimbabwe eight minutes before the break.
The second half marked with the home team gaining the ground in the initial moments, but it was the Red Devils of Congo who soon took control and made a couple of threats. A 58th-minute header from Guy Mbenza who connected the ball from a corner kick almost find its way to the goal, only for the effort to hit the side net.
Congo continued to probe, forcing the home team to play deep but, however, they failed to break beyond the Warriors’ backline. Chigova also denied them on a few occasions to preserve the advantage.
Zimbabwe never showed any intention to build forward in the final stages of the game as they shifted to defensive mode and trying to catch their opponents with counter attacks.
The result remained unchanged and the Warriors booked their ticket to Egypt along with DRC who beat Liberia 1-0 in Kinshasa to finish in the second position.
Warriors XI: George Chigova, Tendai Darikwa, Teenage Hadebe, Alec Mudimu, Ronald Pfumbidzai, Danny Phiri, Marshall Munetsi, Khama Billiat, Tinotenda Kadewere (Mutizwa 85′), Knowledge Musona (Chawapiwa 79′) and Evans Rusike (Karuru 85′).
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