Zambia left Abidjan with a draw on Saturday in their 2015 CAF Under-23 Cup final round, first leg match.
Cote d’Ivoire, who had TP Mazembe striker Roger Assale and PSG winger Méité Yakou amongst their seven foreign call-ups in the team could not find a way past Zambia’s backline before the match ended 0-0.
The two sides will meet in the final leg decider on august 1 in Lusaka.
Winner will qualify for the 2015 tournament to be hosted by Senegal from be held from November 28 to December 12 in Senegal.
The top three finishers at the second edition of the competition will qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.