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