Three COSAFA nations are still in contention for a place at the African Under-23 Championships in Egypt in November, with at least one guaranteed of representing the region at the continental showpiece tournament.
South Africa will meet Zimbabwe in the final stage of qualifying in June, while Zambia must see their way past Congo-Brazzaville for a place at the finals.
South Africa eased into the next stage of the preliminaries with a 3-0 win over Angola on Tuesday night, which handed them a 6-1 aggregate success.
Goals from Jamie Webber, Teboho Mokoena and Luther Singh gave coach David Notoane’s side the victory in Johannesburg.
Zimbabwe were run close by Mozambique, but goals in the final few minutes of their second leg tie by Obriel Chirinda and Delic Murimba gave the Young Warriors the 2-0 win on the night, and by the same score on aggregate.
Murimba continued to show his excellent promise, having also been a star of the Zimbabwe side at the COSAFA Under-20 Championships in December.
Fashion Sakala was on target again as Zambia edged Malawi 2-0 on aggregate, winning both legs by 1-0 scorelines after the former Under-20 star netted on each occasion.
The African Under-23 Championships will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, with the top three teams in Egypt advancing to the competition in Japan.