Goals from Knowledge Musona Khama Billiat and Cuthbert Malajila ensured Zimbabwe qualify for the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations next year by beating Malawi 3-0 in their Group L qualifier on Sunday afternoon at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Kalisto Pasuwa’s men now have 11 points on top of the group and have reached the continental showpiece after Guinea lost 1-0 to Swaziland in Mbabane on Sunday.
The hosts started on a high by keeping their visitors under pressure. It was Malawi’s Chiukepo Msowoya who broke free from his marker, but he was closed down in the box as he tried to prepare his shot.
In the 14th minute, Zimbabwe received a penalty after Musona was brought down by a Malawian defender.
Musona raised his hand to grab the lead for Pasuwa’s men in the 16th minute to maximise their chances of reaching Gabon.
However, towards the 40th minute, Bidvest Wits’ Onismor Bhasera made a wonderful run on the left to pick out Billiat in the box and the Mamelodi Sundowns man finished with ease making it 2-0.
It was 2-0 at the interval.
The second stanza saw the Flames attacking the Warriors half with forward Gabadinho Mhango attempting a long range shot, but it went wide.
In the 66th minute, Ndoro outmuscled his marker into the box, but his final shot at goal was blocked by the Malawian keeper.
Towards the final 20 minutes, Msowoya wasted a good chance to pull one back when his shot was blocked in the box by Hardlife Zvirekwi and his appeal for a penalty fell on deaf ears.
The Zimbabweans continued to probe for the third goal and Musona found Cuthbert Malajila in the box for the Sundowns frontman to head home and kill the game with two minutes to go.
In the wake of the loss, the Flames remain rooted at the bottom with two points from five matches and their hopes of reaching Gabon are over.
Zimbabwe: (2) 3 (Musona 16′ pen, Billiat 37′, Malajila 88′)
Malawi: (0) 0