First half goals by Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat sent the Warriors to the Afcon finals following a 2-0 win over Congo Brazzaville at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday.
The result saw Zimbabwe go two points clear ahead of second-placed DR Congo who beat Liberia 1-0 in Kinshasa at the same time. Cedric Bakambu scored the only goal of the game in the 52nd minute.
With Zimbabwe needing just a draw to book a fourth appearance at the Afcon finals, they went full throttle to beat Congo convincingly.
Billiat opened the scoring for the Warriors with a well-struck 20th minute freekick after Nyasha Munetsi was fouled just outside the penalty box.
Musona doubled Zimbabwe’s lead on 36 minutes after profiting from a defensive error by the visitors to record his fifth goal in this qualifying campaign.
Congo’s Le Havre defender Fernand Mayembo had failed to clear a risky pass from his goalkeeper Wolfringon Mongondza, to allow Musona to fire from outside the box.
The visitors tried to claw their way back into the match in the second half but Zimbabwe goalkeeper George Chigova kept the hosts in the game with some fine saves.
Elsewhere, Bakambu’s second-half goal saw DR Congo edging Liberia. Going into this match placed third in the pool, DR Congo rose to deny Liberia a trip to Egypt 2019.
A draw was all Liberia needed to qualify for the tournament but Bakambu’s strike ended their dreams.