CAF World Cup Qualifying Review: Gabon through, Congo win thriller

Gabon needed a penalty shootout to advance from the second round of World Cup qualifying, while there was drama for Congo and Algeria.

Gabon progressed from round two of CAF World Cup qualifying with a penalty shootout win over Mozambique, while in first-leg action Congo beat Ethiopia in a seven-goal thriller and Algeria avoided an upset by fighting back to draw 2-2 against Tanzania.

After losing the first leg 1-0, Gabon welcomed Mozambique to Libreville needing to overturn the deficit and Malick Evouna scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win.

Extra-time failed to produce a winner, meaning a shootout was required and it was the hosts who were left celebrating as Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scored the winning spot-kick in a 4-3 win.

Ethiopia were unfancied against Congo in their first-leg encounter, but Getaneh Kebede put the hosts 1-0 in front in the 41st minute at the Addis Ababa Stadium.

The lead lasted just two minutes, as Thievy Bifouma levelled the scores, and second-half goals from Fabrice Ondama, Delvin N'Dinga and Hardy Binguila put Congo in firm control.

However, Ethiopia gave themselves a fighting chance for the second leg as late goals from Dawit Fekadu and Shimeles Bekele Godo brought them back within one, the match finishing 4-3.

Tanzania are ranked some 109 places below Algeria in the FIFA rankings, but they appeared on course for a famous victory after going 2-0 in front in Dar-Es-Salaam.

Elias Maguli put Tanzania in front shortly before half-time and TP Mazembe forward Mbwana Samatta doubled their lead in the 55th minute.

However, Islam Slimani ensured Algeria avoided embarrassment with a quickfire double in the 72nd and 75th minute.

There was no such luck for Egypt as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Chad, leaving them with plenty to do in the return tie in Borg El Arab on Tuesday.

Mali also fell to a surprise 2-1 defeat at Botswana, Samba Sow's 56th-minute strike giving the visitors a crucial goal ahead of the second leg.