Uganda beat Zambia 1-0 in normal time but succumbed to the African champions in post-match penalties by 9-8 to crush out of the road to South Africa 2013.
Geoffrey Massa scored Uganda’s goal on 27 minutes as the Cranes held out throughout the 90 minutes.
For Zambia coach Herve Renard, it was relief as the Chipolopolo will now be able to defend their title next year.
The 1-0 meant spot kicks would decide the tie after the first leg ended in a similar scoreline in Ndola. Both teams scored four of the five kicks before going on a scoring spree.
Onyango saved Chris Katongo’s for Zambia, while Emmanuel Mayuka, Isaac Chansa, Nathan Sinkala, Felix Katongo, goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene, Jonas Sakuwawa, Hichani Himande, Stophila Sunzu and Davies Nkausu scored.
Godfrey Walusimbi, Simeon Masaba, Onyango, Emmanuel Okwi, Hamis Kiiza, Tonny Mawejje, Moses Oloya, Geoffrey Kizito scored for Uganda while Mwesigwa missed.
Uganda dominated the game with Mawejje, Wasswa and Kizito dictating play. But the Zambians were dangerous on the break with Mayuka threatening on several occasions.