Ghana moved to the brink of a place in the quarter-finals of the African Nations Cup with a 2-0 victory over Mali in Franceville.
Goals from Asamoah Gyan and Andre Ayew gave the Black Stars a second win in as many Group D games, with a game against fellow qualifying hopefuls Guinea to come in the final round.
However, the outcome could have been so different had Mali striker Cheick Diabate not seen his free-kick strike both posts when the game was goalless.
Guinea kept alive their African Nations Cup hopes at Botswana's expense with a thumping 6-1 win in the other Group D game in Libreville.
Botswana striker Jerome Ramathlakwana had labelled the match "do-or-die'' affair before kick-off, and ultimately it was his side left to face up to almost certain elimination.
A Sadio Diallo brace and strikes by Abdoul Camara, Ibrahima Traore, Mamadou Bah and Naby Soumah secured a one-sided triumph that will give Guinea renewed hope and confidence heading into their final group game with Ghana on Wednesday.
Dipsy Selolwane claimed Botswana's reply from the penalty spot but the Zebras were as good as out of the match by half-time, trailing 4-1 and reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Patrick Motsepe for a potentially leg-breaking challenge on Pascal Feindouno.
Both these teams lost their opening matches, Botswana beaten 1-0 by Ghana and Guinea losing to Mali by the same scoreline.