Testing away matches dot the African landscape, and a host of favourites were held in Saturday's 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ second round qualifiers, with only Tunisia winning away from home. There will be ten more matches on Sunday as the CAF preliminaries finish the second of six matchdays in the group stage with only the group winners advancing to the final round.

Match of the day
Morocco 2-2 Côte d'Ivoire
Goals: Houssine Kharja 41, Hamza Abourazzouk 89; Salomon Kalou 8, Kolo Toure 60
In a night-time battle of the giants, the emerging Kalou broke free and confidently lobbed in the opener, but Kharja, who also scored last week's late equaliser at Gambia, converted from the spot after a penalty was awarded for handball. The confident Ivorians surely thought they had it won when the Manchester City defender headed home a corner kick, but the Atlas Lions refused to lie down and a powerful last-minute header from Abourazzouk was a deserved equaliser. Morocco are on two points, while the Elephants top Group C with four having now gone 15 qualifiers without defeat.

In the day's other marquee match, African champions Zambia triumphed over Ghana 1-0 with an early goal coming from captain Chris Katongo. The result was the same as in the CAF African Cup of Nations semi-final earlier this year, and it leaves Group D with three sides on three points. Ghana and Zambia are for now even with Sudan, who beat the Zambians last weekend and are favoured to nose in front in the section in Maseru on Sunday. Nigeria did manage to find the net in Blantyre against Malawi, although not until the 89th minute when Ruben Gabriel rose to head home a free-kick and seemingly give the Super Eagles a second successive late win. However, Malawi substitute John Banda pegged the four-time FIFA World Cup veterans back, and the hosts were left celebrating their second draw to start Group F. The Namibians barged into second in the section with a late goal of their own against Kenya, a winner coming in the 85th minute from Henrico Botes.

Like Nigeria, South Africa struggled in front of goal and settled for a 1-1 away draw. Their hosts and neighbours Botswana hit the woodwork in the first half, but fell behind to Morgan Gould's goal, which was well set up by Steven Pienaar. The Zebras held their own and took advantage of some sloppy Bafana Bafana defending to equalise through Ofentse Nato before the break. The 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts missed a number of second half chances to win, but they will settle for two points in Group A following a home draw with Ethiopia that cost coach Pitso Mosimane his job. Senegal also hoped to get more from their trip to Kampala, but Uganda struck late on for the second straight week to claim another 1-1 draw.

Both hosts in Group E managed to claim full points as Gabon and Congo top the table on four points apiece. The Gabonese won after Remy Ebanega headed home the only goal of the match from a second half corner kick. Congo played the entire second half against Niger with an extra man after Mohamed Chikoto was sent off, but the winner did not come until France-born substitute Francis Malonga scored in the 86th minute. Group B's Tunisia are top of the table on six points after beating Cape Verde 2-1 away. Saber Khalifa lobbed the visitors into the lead after 15 minutes before Odair Fortes equalised, but shortly after the break Tunisia went back in front through Issam Jemaa's header. Sierra Leone could not keep pace with the Carthage Eagles, but they managed an exciting 2-2 draw at Equatorial Guinea with their goals coming in quick succession from Samuel Barlay and Ibrahim Bangura.

Player of the day
Juvenal (Equatorial Guinea)
A veteran of two previous FIFA World Cup qualifying campaigns for the National Lightning, captain Juvenal scored both goals for the hosts against an impressive Sierra Leone side. However, when the hosts were given a penalty kick for a handball in the box, the Spanish lower league player missed his chance for a hat-trick and blazed his shot over. The 33-year-old had converted from the spot in an earlier qualifying round against Madagascar.

The stat
1 –
The number of African teams (Tunisia) that had completed play through Saturday with two qualifying victories through two rounds, out of 20 nations.

What they said
"Zambia did well in the first half, but we had all of the play in the second half and created many chances so we think we deserved something from the match," Ghana's Italy-based midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.

Results and Fixtures
9 June
Malawi 1-1 Nigeria
Botswana 1-1 South Africa
Zambia 1-0 Ghana
Gabon 1-0 Burkina Faso
Congo 1-0 Niger
Uganda 1-1 Senegal
Cape Verde Islands 1-2 Tunisia
Equatorial Guinea 2-2 Sierra Leone
Namibia 1-0 Kenya
Morocco 2-2 Côte d'Ivoire

10 June
Lesotho - Sudan
Mozambique - Zimbabwe
Rwanda - Benin
Congo DR - Togo
Ethiopia - Central African Republic
Tanzania - Gambia
Liberia - Angola    
Guinea - Egypt    
Libya - Cameroon
Mali - Algeria