Saturday's matches saw Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Morocco and Zambia join Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria in Round Three of the African qualifying competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.

With Senegal only managing a 1-1 draw against Gambia, a goalless stalemate with Liberia was enough to see the Algerians finish top of Group 6. Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Morocco - winners over Madagascar, Lesotho, Chad and Mauritania respectively - had considerably less difficulty in making sure of their places in the next phase. Zambia, meanwhile, qualified without even playing as a consequence of Togo's 6-0 win over Swaziland.

Here with all the details on those matches and more is

Game of the day
Malawi 2-1 Congo DR
Goals: Russell Mwafulirwa 55, 82 (Malawi); Lomana Lua-Lua 12 (Congo DR)

When the draw was made for the second qualifying round, few would have given Malawi much chance of holding their own against the might of Egypt and Congo DR in Group 12. The Flames have burned brightly throughout the campaign, however, and climbed to the top of the section on Saturday after a superb performance of the Congolese, although the chances are Egypt will pip them to first place when they entertain bottom-placed Djibouti in Cairo on Sunday.

The atmosphere was white hot at Blantyre's Kamuzu Stadium as Kinnah Phiri's side took to the field and although Lua-Lua stunned the home fans with an early goal, the Malawians hit back to steal the points in the last ten minutes. Mwafulirwa's status as a national hero will be assured should his double prove enough to take them into the next round.

Surprise of the day
Namibia 4-2 Zimbabwe
Goals: Wilko Risser 20, 49, Rudolf Bester 32, Paulus Shipanga 44 (Namibia); Esrom Nyandoro 51, Cuthbert Malajila 83 (Zimbabwe)

While neither of these two sides will be appearing in the next phase, Namibia's win was still wholly unexpected. Prior to today's clash at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek, the Zimbabweans had lost one of their five matches in Group 2, conceding just twice in the process, while the hosts had already let in ten and scored only three. A first-half goal rush from the Namibians soon changed those statistics, however, allowing them to finish on a high note.

Player of the day
Boubacar Sanogo (CIV)

As good as through before the match even kicked off, Côte d'Ivoire made light of the absence of the injured Didier Drogba to sweep Madagascar aside and make sure of top spot in Group 7. Lining up with Bakary Kone, Sanogo and Salomon Kalou up front, the Elephants were never inconvenienced, with the Werder Bremen striker showing his class by scoring either side of half-time and Kalou sealing victory 25 minutes from time.

The stat
3.23 -
The average number of goals scored in each of Saturday's games. The overall tally was 55 from the day's 17 matches.

What they said
"The match was far from easy. My players were very nervous and they were feeling the pressure. But we can rest easy now, heave a sigh of relief and say ‘mission accomplished'. All we can do is wait for the final calculations and see if we can qualify as one the best second-placed teams," Gabon coach Alain Giresse reacts to his side's victory against Libya.

Standings will be only confirmed when all of the Official FIFA Match Reports have been received.

African Zone results
Saturday 11 October

Group 1
Cameroon 5-0 Mauritius
Tanzania 3-1 Cape Verde Islands

Group 2
Namibia 4-2 Zimbabwe

Group 4
Nigeria 4-1 Sierra Leone
Equatorial Guinea 0-1 South Africa

Group 5
Ghana 3-0 Lesotho
Gabon 1-0 Libya

Group 6
Liberia 0-0 Algeria
Senegal 1-1 Gambia

Group 7
Botswana 0-1 Mozambique
Côte d'Ivoire 3-0 Madagascar

Group 8
Morocco 4-1 Mauritania 

Group 9
Tunisia 5-0 Seychelles

Group 10
Mali 2-1 Chad 
Sudan 2-0 Congo

Group 11
Togo 6-0 Swaziland

Group 12
Malawi 2-1 Congo DR

Click on the link on the right for all the stats on the Africa zone and the match reports on Saturday's games.