Johannesburg - Ghana joined Cameroon on the 2016 Olympic Games qualifying scrapheap at the weekend after a second-round penalty shootout defeat in Congo Brazzaville.
Sylvain Ganvoula scored a first-half goal at Stade Municipal in oil port Pointe-Noire to give the Congolese a 1-0 victory and cancel a first-leg loss by the same score in Accra.
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Congo then converted all five spot-kicks, but Emmanuel Nti Mensah missed the third for Ghana and the hosts won 5-4 on penalties.
Success was especially sweet for veteran France-born Congo coach Claude le Roy, who dreams of taking a team to the Olympics for the first time.
He became embroiled in a post-first leg war of words with Ghana coach, 70-year-old Malik Jabir, accusing the west Africans of fielding over-age footballers in the under-23 competition.
Le Roy has been to the World Cup with Cameroon, and collected gold and silver medals with Cameroon and bronze with Ghana as an Africa Cup of Nations coach.
The reward for Congo is a third-round date with Nigeria, one of three African countries to bag Olympic football medals.
Nigeria won the 1996 Atlanta Olympics tournament and Cameroon achieved a similar feat in Sydney four years later after Ghana had finished third at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
Olympics elimination completed a disastrous week for Ghana with an all-local senior national side stunned by Madagascar and routed by Zambia when competing as southern Africa championship 'guests'.
Cameroon were shocked by Sierra Leone, losing on the away-goal rule after a 1-1 draw at Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.
Zimbabwe dodged the embarrassment of defeat by minnows Swaziland as they came from behind twice to draw 2-2 in Lobamba and squeeze through on away goals.
Mxolisi Mkhontfo converted a late first-half penalty for the Swazis at Somhlolo Stadium and substitute Philana Kadewere levelled just before the hour.
Swaziland regained the lead almost immediately through Muzi Dlamini only to have hopes of a rare international success dashed nine minutes from time when Ronald Pfumbidzai scored off another spot-kick.
The next opponents for Zimbabwe will be South Africa, one of eight countries who received second-round byes.
A couple of early second-half goals from Ronald Kampamba and Kelvin Mubanga earned Zambia a 2-0 victory over Botswana at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka following a drawn first leg.
Much-improved Tunisia triumphed 2-0 away to Sudan in central city El-Obeid having snatched a first-leg advantage through a last-minute goal.
Ghailane Chaalali and Yassine Meriah scored for the visitors, who missed a penalty, while Sudan had Athar Al-Tahir red-carded.
The seven third-round winners will join hosts Senegal at a November 28-December 12 tournament from which the top three finishers secure places at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.