With that achievement, Pasuwa has etched his name into Zimbabwean football folklore, becoming the third coach to lead the Warriors to the African Cup of Nations finals, after Sunday Chidzambwa and Charles Mhlauri did it in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

With Swaziland overcoming Guinea 1-0 in the other qualifying match in Mbabane, the Warriors, who top Group L with 11 points, booked their seat at Africa’s greatest football showcase.

Their last match against Guinea in Conakry in September will now be of academic interest because Swaziland can only manage 11 points if they win their last match against Malawi, but they cannot overtake the Warriors due to a poorer head-to-head record.

Warriors’ chief striker, Knowledge Musona won and converted a penalty in the 16th minute, before Khama Billiat added the second with a cheeky goal after being set up by defender, Onismor Bhasera.

Substitute, Cuthbert Malajila secured the points with the third goal, but by then, champagne had already been popped.
But if truth be told, Pasuwa’s men were outclassed in most aspects of the game.

Malawi dominated most of the match, with some methodical build ups, while the Warriors surprisingly struggled for fluency at home.

Former Caps United and Zimbabwe Soccer Star of the Year, Joseph Kamwendo was outstanding in the middle of the park with his passing range.

To their credit, the Warriors were lethal in the final third and Musona gave Zimbabwe the lead they desperately needed when he won a penalty and then stepped up to beat goalkeeper, Charles Swini from the resultant spot kick on the quarter hour.

After that goal, the Warriors briefly dominated proceedings, but John Banda came close on 30 minutes from a free kick, which was, cleared, as Malawi pressed forward.

Billiat then made it 2-0 with a cheeky goal on 36 minutes, profiting from a Bhasera set up.

In the second half, Pasuwa, sensing victory, sacrificed flair for graft, throwing in Danny Phiri for Kuda Mahachi on 58 minutes.

Tendai Ndoro, who threatened each time he won possession, came close on 66 minutes after breaching the Malawi defence, but the keeper blocked his effort.

Ndoro was substituted a minute later, with Malajila coming on to replace him.

Billiat was guilty of a glaring miss on 69 minutes following a wonderful long range delivery from the left by Musona, shooting wide instead of passing.

Pasuwa’s substitution paid off, with Malajila leaping high to head home the third goal on the stroke of full time, sending the fans into ecstasy.

In the end, it was a perfect result, even though the performance was not perfect on the day, few will remember that, as the Warriors thrilled their adoring fans.

Malawi were the artists, playing some beautiful passes, but the Warriors were the artisans, who got the job done.

Teams: Zimbabwe: T Mukuruva, H Zvirekwi, E Muroiwa, C Nhamoinesu, O Bhasera, M Nakamba (M Rusike 76), W Katsande, K Mahachi (D Phiri 58th), K Musona, T Ndoro (C Malajila 66), K Billiat

Malawi: C Swini, C Msavoya, H Nyirenda, J Lamjesi, S Samudi, F Mulimbika, F Mulimbika, P Wadabwa, W Jeremani, (M Mhone 46), J Kamwendo, J Banda (H Mhango 40), R Namwera