Two goals in as many second-half minutes by Achille Emana and Samuel Eto'o helped Cameroon revive their World Cup qualifying chance with an important victory over Gabon in Libreville on Saturday.
There was an equally important win for Egypt over Rwanda as the two countries finally gained the results they so desperately needed in the race for a place at next year's finals in South Africa.
The Indomitable Lions, who were playing their first game under new coach Paul Le Guen, looked nervous through the opening hour, before they eventually broke down their resilient hosts in the 66th minute - Real Betis midfielder Emana with the opener. Two minutes later it was Inter Milan striker Eto'o that pounced as the west Africans gained their first win of the campaign to move onto four points in Group A, still two behind the previously-unbeaten Gabonese.
In Group C, Ahmed Hassan scored the only goal to lift Egypt to a priceless 1-0 win over Rwanda in Kigali. In another tense affair, the Pharaohs had to wait until the 68th minute before their captain pounced to net the winner that moved his side level on points with leaders Algeria. However, the Desert Foxes had a game in hand and better goal-difference.
Elsewhere, Malawi produced a spirited second-half fightback to come from a goal down to overhaul Guinea 2-1 in Blantyre. After Oumar Kalabane (37) fired the visitors ahead, Chiukepo Msowoya scored in the 46th and 61st minutes to secure all three points, which leaves both sides on three points apiece.
Finally, a brace from Didier Drogba helped Ivory Coast move to within a point of a place in the World Cup after a crushing 5-0 win over Burkina Faso. The Chelsea striker scored in the 49th and 65th minutes adding to an own goal by Saidou Panandetiguiri (12) and further efforts from Yaya Toure (55) and Abdulkader Keita (69). The result means that the Elephants can qualify with a draw in either of their final two games.