Ivorians on cusp as Lions roar
© AFP

Côte d'Ivoire took a significant stride closer to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ today by beating Burkina Faso 5-0. The Elephants now need just one point from their last two games to guarantee their presence at next summer's global finals.

Elsewhere, Cameroon revived their own bid by collecting all three points in Gabon. FIFA.com reviews the best of the action from the African Zone.

Game of the day
Côte d'Ivoire 5-0 Burkina Faso
Goals: Madi Panandetiguiri 12 og, Didier Drogba 48, 65, Yaya Toure 55, Adbulkader Keita 68

Until recently, Burkina Faso were impressing the entire continent with an unbeaten record in qualifying, having posted seven wins and a draw thanks to the most prolific attack in Africa. That was until they came up against Côte d'Ivoire, who registered a 3-2 away win in June and followed that up with Saturday's even more damaging defeat, which all but ends the Stallions' hopes of appearing in South Africa next year. The Elephants now boast a six-point advantage over Paulo Duarte's men and a goal difference of +12 compared to Burkina Faso's -3, leaving them well-placed to sew up qualification next month.

Surprise of the day
Gabon 0-2 Cameroon
Goals: Achille Emana 66, Samuel Eto'o 68

Paul Le Guen's side headed to Libreville to take on Gabon in dire straits, five points shy of the one and only automatic ticket to South Africa from Group A. Few believed in their chances of overcoming the team that had won 2-1 in Morocco and despatched Togo 3-0, but in a match dominated by the Panthers, Cameroon patiently waited for their chance and silenced the Stade Omar Bongo crowd with two goals in two minutes. The result will have restored a little pride for the Indomitable Lions, but the return match in Yaounde on Wednesday will provide a far better indication of the relative strength of the two teams.

Player of the day
Chiukepo Msowoya (MWI)

Before this fourth instalment of matches, Malawi were the only team yet to earn a point in Round 3 of qualifying, so it is was tempting to expect another defeat when they were trailing Guinea 1-0 at half-time on Saturday. That was when Chiukepo Msowoya was introduced, and the Super Escom Blantyre forward enjoyed a spectacular second period, scoring twice to put his side back in the hunt for the one of the top three spots in Group E, which would ensure them a place at the 2010 CAF African Cup of Nations in Angola.

The stat
99 - The number of goals scored by Guinea in FIFA World Cup qualifying down the years. Who will have the honour of bringing up their century?

What they said
"It's not a big disappointment but it's still a diappointment. We were hoping above all not to lose, and when you look at the match I'm not sure that was a fair result. The players are devastated but they're aware of the quality of the opposition," Alain Giresse, Gabon coach

Results
Malawi 2-1 Guinea
Rwanda 0-1 Egypt
Gabon 0-2 Cameroon
Côte d'Ivoire 5-0 Burkina Faso

Click on the links in the column on the right for a full rundown of statistics from the African Zone and match reports from Saturday's games.