Chipolopolo’s slim chances of qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup in Cameroon ended on Thursday night following a 3-3 home draw against African champions Algeria in the penultimate Group H match in Lusaka.
This is the third straight time Zambia is missing out on Africa Cup qualification.
Coach Micho’s twice came from behind to force a draw at the National Heroes Stadium in the capital city.
The visitors led 2-0 inside the first 25 minutes with goals from Ramiz Ghezzal and Islam Slimani.
Striker Patson Daka ensured that Zambia reduced the deficit to 2-1 going into the half time break when converting a 33rd minute penalty after he was fouled in the box.
Midfielder Clatous Chama headed in the equaliser from Augustine Mulenga’s cross seven minutes after the restart.
Three minutes later the Algerians were back in the driving seat with Slimani completing his brace at National Heroes Stadium but Daka rescued Zambia from a home loss when making it 3-3 from another penalty.
Referee Ali Adelaid from Comoros pointed to the spot for the second time on the night when second half substitute Moses Phiri was fouled in the box.
Zambia almost scored the winner four minutes away from the final whistle when Daka saw his close range strike ruled out for offside.
Algeria, who have already qualified for the AFCON, stay top of Group H on 11 points with second placed Zimbabwe moving to eight points following their 1-0 win over Botswana earlier on Thursday.
Zambia and Botswana have four points apiece with Chipolopolo remaining rooted at the bottom.
Meanwhile, Zambia faces Zimbabwe in the last group match on Monday away in Harare in a formality encounter on the same day Algeria will be hosting Botswana in the north.