Egypt gain advantage

Mohamed Aboutrika's 30th minute strike gave Egypt a 1-0 win over Congo DR, opening up a three-point gap at the top of the Group 12 standings.

Prior to the game at the Stade des Martyrs the two teams were tied on nine points apiece, but the victory has given Hassan Shehata's side a bit of daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.

Meanwhile, a solitary goal was also enough for Congo against Mali in the Group 10 clash. The two teams now find themselves level on points with five games played.

Miro proved to be the hero for Mozambique as his equalising goal held Côte d'Ivoire to a 1-1 draw in their Group 7 qualifier in Maputo today.

Bakary Kone had put the Ivorians ahead in the 48th minute, but parity was restored just four minutes later, to keep their hopes of qualification for the next stage very much alive. 

Elsewhere in the same group, Stephan Rabemananjara's first-half goal was enough to give Madagascar the three points over Botswana in Antananarivo, whch took the island nation to second place.

Madagascar now find themselves a point ahead of Mozambique and Botswana, but three points behind Côte d'Ivoire with all to play for in the final round of fixtures in October.

Gabon in the hunt
Gabon gave their chances of qualification a shot in the arm as they defeated Lesotho 3-0 in Bloemfontein. With Ghana's surprise 1-0 loss to Libya yesterday, both sides are level on points going into the final round of fixtures.

In Harare, Zimbabwe and Guinea played out a goalless draw in Group 2, leaving Guinea in second spot on eight points with Zimbabwe two points behind in third.

Arguably the day's biggest winners were Benin, who qualified for the next stage by virtue of their 3-2 win over Angola and Niger's surprise 3-1 success over Uganda.

The results ensure that Benin top the Group 3 table, with Angola and Niger battling it out for second spot. However, Germany 2006 qualifiers Angola, who entertain Niger in the final game will be favourites to reach the next round.

Today's results
Madagascar 1-0 Botswana
Zimbabwe 0-0 Guinea
Lesotho 0-3 Gabon
Mozambique 1-1 Côte d'Ivoire
Congo 1-0 Mali
Congo DR 0-1 Egypt 
Benin 3-2 Angola
Niger 3-1 Uganda