Just like they did last year, Zimbabwe finished third in the eight team competition which guaranteed the top two teams of qualification.
Hosts Tunisia and Burundi have been promoted with Tunisia beating Ivory Coast 2-0 in the play offs.
Missing their top player Takanyi Garanganga, the Zimbabweans gave a good account of themselves rising from a 3-0 defeat against Tunisia to beat Ghana 2-1 and then Namibia 3-0 to seal a place in the play offs which determined which teams qualify.
In the play off for promotion, Benjamin Lock had given the Zimbabweans hope with a 6-3, 7-6 defeat of Loic Didavi but a straight 6-4, 6-1 defeat for Mark Fyn against Alexis Klegou brought Benin back into contention.
Then Lock and Tendai Tapfuma faltered in the deciding doubles losing 6-3, 6-1 to Didavi and Klegou to give Benin victory and a place in the Africa Zone Group Two next year.
While Tunisia and Benin are celebrating their way to promotion, for Zimbabwe it is back to the drawing board to find where they are getting it wrong after losing at the last hurdle for two successive years.
Some might argue that the absence of Garanganga cost Zimbabwe that vital place in the Africa Zone Group Two, but why should Zimbabwe rely heavily on one player just like the Zimbabwean soccer team is doing with Knowledge Musona.Post published in: Sport