Wedson Nyirenda, the Chipolopolo head coach, targeted nothing, but a win which would book a spot in the final stage to meet South Africa, who beat Angola on penalties in the semi-final match in the afternoon.
Nyirenda started with Orlando Pirates attackers Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga upfront.
For the Warriors, coach Sunday Chidzambwa had the same mission and he started with the experienced George Chigova between the goal posts.
A look at his starting eleven, Chidzambwa called upon SA-based Ovidy Karuru and Evans Rusike to help provide creativity and unlock the hosts’ defence.
Following a bright start by the hosts, Shonga came close to opening the scoring when his attempt hit the side-netting after he was released by Enock Mwepu in the 17th minute.
Nyirenda’s troops then protested for a spot kick after Mwepu was pushed to the ground inside the penalty box, but the referee did not entertain the shouts as he waved play on.
Against the run of play before the half-hour mark, the Warriors forced their way into the box and Tinotenda Kadewere was denied by Zambia goalkeeper, Toaster Nsabata from close range to concede a corner.
The 2012 African champions continued probing and Shonga lobbed the ball over Chigova in the 36th minute, but his effort sailed wide as it remained goalless at the interval.
However, a minute into the second stanza saw the Warriors grabbing the lead when Rusike forced an error from Isaac Shamujompa, who directed the ball into his own net, 1-0.
A few minutes later, beaten Chigova was rescued by the cross bar when Ziyo Tembo’s header rattled the bar from a corner kick.
The hosts would level the matters with four minutes after the hour mark when Shonga beat Chigova with a low shot, 1-1 and game on in Ndola.
Chidzambwa made changes in the opposite half and introduced Talent Chawapiwa for Silas Songani and the former made an immediate impact to restore Zimbabwe’s lead in the 72nd minute, 2-1.
It looked like the Zimbabweans were home and dry in the closing stages of the game. But Lazarus Kambole pulled one for Chipolopolo to ensure it was 2-2 at the death and the game ended in a draw in regulation time, and extra time followed.
Zambia went on to claim a 5-4 win on penalties to set up a clash against Bafana Bafana in the final of the four-nation tournament in Ndola.