Johannesburg: Strikers Samuel Eto`o and Didier Drogba scored as Cameroon revived their World Cup qualification hopes and Ivory Coast moved within one point of the finals on Saturday.
Eto`o set up the first goal and netted the second as Cameroon scored twice in two minutes midway through the second half to beat Group A leaders Gabon 2-0 in Libreville on Saturday.
Drogba scored twice to help the Ivorians overwhelm their closest rivals Burkina Faso 5-0 in Abidjan on Saturday in their Group E match. They now need a single point to advance to the finals for a second successive tournament.
African champions Egypt kept alive their hopes with a 1-0 win in Rwanda, while Malawi picked up their first points in the final round group phase when they came from behind to beat Guinea 2-1 at home.
Captain Eto`o provided the leadership new Cameroon coach Paul LeGuen expected. He set up Achille Emana for the first goal in the 66th minute and followed it with a good finish of his own two minutes later, his seventh of the campaign.
Cameroon and Gabon meet again on Wednesday in Yaounde when the home side will have the chance to go top of the standings.
The Ivorians scored early and never looked back as they beat neighbours Burkin Faso in front of a restricted crowd in Abidjan, where in March at least 19 people were killed in a stadium stampede the last time the Ivorians played at home.
Abdelkader Keita opened the scoring with a deflected shot for a single goal lead at the interval before Drogba added two more, Keita doubled his tally and Yaya Toure of Barcelona also got on the score sheet.
The Ivorians kept up their 100 percent record in the group and will secure qualification in Malawi next month with a draw.
Midfielder Ahmed Hassan returned to injury-hit Egypt`s starting line-up and scored in a goalmouth scramble 20 minutes from time against Rwanda in Kigali.
Egypt are level on points at the top of the Group C standings with Algeria, who play Zambia on Sunday,
Chiukepo Msowoya came on as a halftime substitute to score twice as Malawi beat Guinea 2-1 in Blantyre in Group E. Both teams now have three points at the bottom of the standings.
Ghana can qualify for the World Cup finals on Sunday in one of six more group matches scheduled around Africa.