Eritrea pulled off a shock 4-1 first leg victory at home in a first round qualifier, leaving their opponents needing to score at least three goals at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi to survive.
The result led to coach Bob Oguyi being fired for taking 16-year-old academy footballers to Asmara when he could have fielded players six years older in the under-23 competition.
Akwana was in charge of Sofapaka when they trounced Ismailia 4-0 to become the first Kenyan club to defeat Egyptian opponents in the 47-year history of Pan-African championships.
"I am 100 percent sure we will overturn the deficit and progress to the next round because I have a very good side. Eritrea are in for a rough time," vowed the Kenya coach to local media.
Malawi are in a similar situation to Kenya after Bongani 'Drogba' Ndulula poached four second-half goals for South Africa, but caretaker coach Kinnah Phiri refuses to surrender ahead of the Blantyre second-leg.
"Anything is possible in football. It is just a matter of determination and putting up a gallant fight," the stand-in for unavailable Alex Masanjala told the Daily Times.
Uganda bring a 2-1 advantage over Tanzania to Dar-es-Salaam and are likely to retain goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan despite his poor positioning gifting the visitors a potentially crucial away goal.
Tanzania stunned former gold medallists Cameroon last month in a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games -- another under-23 competition -- and are slight favourites to secure a final round showdown with Kenya or Eritrea.
Nigeria are even better placed having held Liberia 1-1 in a Monrovia game overshadowed by complaints from visiting coach Austin Eguavoen about their treatment.
He claimed his squad was left at the airport for three hours before being taken in transport lacking ventilation to a hotel that did not have power and served meals at irregular times.
Leicester City midfielder Danny Uchechi, who had his smartphone stolen from the dressing room, fumed: "I cannot believe that after all the hardship we were put through, they rob us."
Zimbabwe and Botswana are level at 2-2 ahead of a Harare clash, Senegal try in Dakar to overturn a 2-1 loss in Guinea Bissau and DR Congo should advance given they have a 2-1 lead over Gabon and a game in Kinshasa to come.
The final round of qualifiers is scheduled for June and July after which seven countries qualify to join hosts Mozambique at the 3-18 September tournament.
The All-Africa Games football competition is restricted to under-23 footballers with qualifiers staged regionally and the eight-team finale is scheduled for September 3-18 in Mozambique.