Ivory Coastbooked their place at next year’s African Nations Cup with a 6-2 thrashing ofBenin, their fourth win in four games.
The Elephants cruised into a 3-0 lead inside half an hour with goals from Didier Ya Konan, Didier Drogba and Gervinho, but they were rocked as Stephane Sessegnon replied with two of his own, including one from the spot.
Drogba then netted a spot-kick of his own, Gervinho also grabbed a second and by the time the Ivorians added a late sixth, their place in Gabon and Equitorial Guinea was assured.
Burundi went second in the group with their first win of the campaign, 3-1 over Rwanda. Seremani Ndikumana opened the scoring for the hosts and, though Bokota Labama levelled, the points were made safe by further strikes from Saido Ntibazonkiza and Papy Saty.
Reigning African Nations Cup champions Egypt’s qualification chances were virtually extinguished as they were held to a goalless draw by South Africa.
The draw left Egypt with just two points from four Group G matches and four points off second place with two matches remaining - and, with only two best runners-up spots available, a mountian to climb.
Sierra Leone claimed their first victory in Group G, edging outNiger1-0. Ibrahim Bangura scored the only goal five minutes into the second half to move the hosts within three points of pool leaders South Africa.
Guinea extended their lead at the top of Group B to three points as they hammered Madagascar 4-1. Omar Kalabane and Djibril Bangoura but the hosts into a two goal lead and, though Arsene Faed pulled one back, Mamadou Diallo and Bobo Balde made the points safe.
Second-placed Nigeria could only draw 2-2 at Ethiopia, despite taking the lead through Ikechukwu Uche. Saladin Seid levelled just before the break, then struck again five minutes into the second period, meaning Nigeria needed a late leveller from captain Joseph Yobo to rescue a point.
Issam Jemaa scored a hat-trick as Tunisiawent second in Group K with a 5-0 win over Chad. Tunisia also had goals from Ousemma Darragi and Aymen Abdelnour, while Chad had Didier Mbayi dismissed in the first half, allowing the hosts to leapfrog Malawi in the table.
Malawiplayed out a goalless draw at group leaders Botswana, who had already qualified, while Francis Doe scored the only goal as Group A leaders Cape Verde Islands slipped to a 1-0 defeat at bottom side Liberia.
There was also a surprise in the group’s other game as two goals from Knowledge Musona, including a last-minute penalty, lifted Zimbabweto a 2-1 win over second-placed Mali.
Angola leapfrogged Kenya into second in Group J with a 1-0 win, Alberto Manucho scoring the winner five minutes before the end.
Congo DR had to come from behind to beat Group E whipping boys Mauritius2-1, Herita Ilunga and Kabangu Mulota scoring to cancel out Jonathan Bru’s early penalty.
Alaa Eldin Yousif scored the winner five minutes from time asSudan claimed a 2-1 victory in Swazilandwhich took them back level on points with Ghana at the top of Group I.
In Group D, Moroccogave their qualifying hopes a welcome boost with a 4-0 rout of Algeria. Having lost 1-0 to the Algerians in March, Morocco turned the tables on their rivals with Mehdi Benatia, Marouane Chamakh, Youssouf Hadji and Oussama Assaidi all on the score sheet.
Central African Republic beat Tanzania 2-1 to move back level on points with Morocco at the top of Group D.
Libya, knocked off top spot in Group C by Zambia on Saturday, could have returned to the summit with a win in Comoros, but they were held to a 1-1 draw.
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