YAOUNDE, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe was eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after a 2-1 defeat to Malawi on Friday.
Fans of the Warriors at the Omnisport Stadium in Bafoussam had held high hopes ahead of Friday's game, but Zimbabwe was now going home early after a second successive defeat in Group B of the ongoing tournament in Cameroon.
Zimbabwe took the lead moments before half-time through a header by Ishmael Wadi, but Malawi leveled the score as Gabadinho Mhango struck from close range.
In the second half, Mhango scored his second goal with another fine finish in the box, sealing a defeat that revived their hopes of reaching the knockout stage after they lost the opening game.
The results put Zimbabwe out of the race with no point, but it will play a final game on Tuesday as a mere formality.
"Our game management failed us today as we lost very easy balls and conceded easy goals," Norman Mapeza, Zimbabwe coach told the reporters after the game. "We had a good game plan, but the players never followed the instructions to the latter."
"We will go back to the drawing board to plan on our next match which is a formality, but we would be glad to get positive results against Guinea and go home with something to console us."
"We are so delighted to have won our first game in what was a tough game," said Malawi coach Meck Mwase. "After our first loss we never gave up but went back to work on our previous mistake and today it paid off handsomely, and I am proud of our players for that fantastic performance."
The earlier match of the group saw West African giant Senegal and Guinea separating on a goalless draw.
Senegal will face Malawi in Bafoussam on Tuesday, while Zimbabwe tackles Guinea in the capital Yaounde the same day. Both matches will be played simultaneously.
Meanwhile in Group C, Morocco qualified for the knockout stage after beating Comoros 2-0, while Gabon held Ghana to an 1-1 draw.
"I hope we win the next game against Comoros. Four points will be enough to move on. We are Ghana and we will win the next game," said Ghanaian captain Andre Ayew, who was named Man of the Match.