Cameroon scored twice in the space of three minutes to defeat Gabon 2-0 in Libreville and revive hopes of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
Achille Emana and Samuel Eto'o struck midway through the second half as Cameroon atoned for a poor start to their Group A campaign by climbing two places to second, two points behind Gabon.
The teams clash again next Wednesday in Yaounde and another triumph for the Indomitable Lions would lift above the Gabonese, who shocked Morocco away before slamming three unanswered goals past Togo at home.
However, Gabon's dreams of a first FIFA World Cup appearance now hinge on avoiding defeat in the Cameroon capital, a tall order given their failure to use home advantage.
Spain-based midfielder Emana atoned for a first-half caution by breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes and Inter Milan striker Eto'o scored his seventh goal of the qualifying campaign.