Zimbabwe suffered their second defeat at Afcon 2021, losing 2-1 to Malawi in a Group B encounter played on Friday.
The national team is now out of the competition and will finish the campaign at the bottom of Group B.
The Warriors started brightly in the opening minutes and took the game to Malawi. However, they lacked precision in the final third and never created a meaningful chance until the tenth minute.
Ishmael Wadi had the best opportunities in the first quarter-hour but failed to convert them. His free header from a close range went wide in the 11th minute before having his effort cleared by a defender before crossing the whitewash a few moments later. Captain Knowledge Musona also had a crack at goal but was not lucky enough.
Wadi followed up with another glorious chance but was denied by the keeper from a point-blank.
Nonetheless, the forward finally got it right on the 39th minute and broke the deadlock with a looping header off Onismor Bhasera’s cross.
Malawi responded swiftly with their first threatening attack of the game. Gabhadhino Mhango capitalised on Teenage Hadebe’s mistiming and slotted the ball past Petros Mhari on minute 43.
The goal boosted the Flames’ confidence and set the tone in the second half, with the team showing serious intent.
Madinga almost scored in the 50th minute, but he brushed his effort against the crossbar. It was not long before Mhango capitalised on another defensive blunder from Hadebe to send Malawi ahead on the hour for the first time in the tie.
Zimbabwe never showed any signs of recovery for the remainder of the game and saw themselves suffering their second defeat at the competition.
The Warriors will face Guinea in their final match of Group B on 18 January.