The top four finishers at WAFCON in Morocco will automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand this time next year, making each of the quarterfinals at the continental finals a decisive qualifying tie.
Zambia and Morocco have booked a spot in the World Cup after wins over Senegal and Botswana.
Senegal took the lead just past the hour mark as Mbayang Sow’s free-kick was expertly met, at the far post, by Nguenar Ndiaye as the height of the West African proved trumps amid some timid defending.
It was a lead that lasted nine minutes before a goalkeeping howler from Tening Sene allowed Zambia a deserved equaliser.
The first half offered few opportunities as both sides were wary of mistakes and with nerves prominent proved unable to hold onto possession for too long.
The tall goalkeeper dropped a high ball in her penalty area and it was smartly snapped up by Avell Chitundu, who swooped low to head home from close range.
Another defensive slip allowed Zambia to find the net in the 76th minute but they were pulled back for offside.
In extra time, there were chances on either end but Zambia finished much stronger with Sene going some way to making amends for her error by saving a strong effort from Lubanji Ochumba.
In the last minute of additional time, Zambia rattled the woodwork but Sene was able to snatch up the loose ball to force the game to a penalty shootout.
Korka Fall missed Senegal’s first kick in the shootout while Zambia were successful with their opening three but then Lushomo Mweemba’s fourth effort was saved, allowing Senegal back into the contest.
But Nali stopped a weak effort from Awa Diakhate to keep it at 3-2 to Zambia after four kicks of the shootout each.
Nali then stepped up to take the decisive fifth kick and book the Copper Queens a trip to the World Cup, amid scenes of celebration at the Mohamed V Stadium.