African champions Zambia put a torrid week of off-field tension behind them to beat Ghana 1-0 in a 2014 World Cup Group D qualifier on Saturday.
In Marrakech, Morocco substitute Hamza Abdourazzouk scored a dramatic equaliser one minute from time to earn a 2-2 draw with top-ranked Ivory Coast in Group C.
Ahmed Osman headed home from a corner in the last minute of the game to give Libya a dramatic 2-1 win over Cameroon to go top of Group I.
Senegal also featured in a 1-1 draw with Uganda in a Group J clash in Kampala.
Ethiopia surged to the top of the group on Sunday with Saladin Said bagging the brace that earned a 2-0 home win over the Central African Republic .
Egypt-based striker Said, whose goal gave the Black Lions a shock draw in South Africa last weekend, put the home team ahead on 38 minutes in Addis Ababa and he scored again two minutes from time to clinch maximum points.
Ranked 130 in the world by Fifa this month, Ethiopia are the bottom seeds in Group A behind three-time World Cup qualifiers South Africa, Botswana and the Central African Republic.
But the table makes a mockery of the rankings with Ethiopia on four points, Central African Republic three, South Africa two and Botswana one after two rounds of the mini-league second qualifying phase.
Famous for their athletics prowess, Ethiopia have never come remotely close to reaching the World Cup, but that could be about to change, especially with South Africa battling to score goals or win matches.
South Africa's first game after the firing of coach Pitso Mosimane began promisingly when defender Morgan Gould headed them into the lead in the 14th minute against Botswana .
But Ofentse Nato netted the equaliser seven minutes before half-time.
The 2010 World Cup hosts, who have begun qualifying with two draws, have now gone eight matches without a win.
South Africa caretaker coach Steve Komphela was hoping that Bafana Bafana would put a difficult week behind them against the Zebras.
Komphela was assistant coach this time a week ago but was elevated to his current role after Pitso Mosimane left his job in the wake of Sunday's 1-1 home draw at home to Ethiopia.
Tunisia struggled to get past Cape Verde in Praia after Odair Fortes had brought the home side level following Saber Khalifa's early opener.
Isaam Jemaa scored a minute into the second half to give the Tunisians a second straight win and control of the group.
Although Jemaa again proved Tunisia's talisman, he was guilty of squandering several late chances against the Cape Verdians.
Cape Verde, who lost 2-1 in Sierra Leone last weekend, made life difficult for Tunisia, who conceded an early goal before recovering to defeat Equatorial Guinea 3-1 in their first game.
The Carthage Eagles are the only side in the group to have ever contested a World Cup finals, becoming the first African team to win a game at the tournament in 1978.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea shared the spoils after an eventful 2-2 draw in Malabo.
The Leone Stars goals both arrived in the first half from Samuel Barley and Ibrahim Bangura.
Spain-based Juvenal was the hero for the home side, scoring both goals.
Sierra Leone Stars had arrived in Malabo after a tortuous journey that took them via Liberia, The Gambia, Ghana and Togo.
In Marrakech, Ivory Coast looked like posting a second win from as many matches after goals by Salomon Kalou and Kolo Toure.
But Morocco 's Hamza Abourazzouk scored in the 89th to earn his team a second draw.
Kalou chipped the Ivorians into an eighth-minute lead, outsprinting the defence to get on the end of a fine through ball from Siaka Tiene.
Captain Houcine Kharja equalised for Morocco from the penalty spot but Toure put the visitors back in front with a close-range header on the hour.
It was the Manchester City defender's fourth goal for his country on his 98th appearance for the Elephants.
Talismanic captain Didier Drogba, who scored last week when the Ivorians launched their campaign with a 2-0 home win over Tanzania, was a towering presence in attack before being taken off with six minutes left.
Abdourazzouk then grabbed the equaliser with a powerful header, much to the relief of Morocco's Belgian coach Eric Gerets.
Tanzania moved into second place behind Ivory Coast with a 2-1 over The Gambia in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
The Taifa Stars fought back with Shomari Kapombe cancelling an early Momodou Ceesay goal for the visitors and Erasto Nyoni converting a late penalty in Dar es Salaam.
It was Tanzania's first World Cup qualifier at home since losing 1-0 to Chad in the first round last November.
Coach Kim Poulsen said after the game he was pleased with the perfomance.
"We have played two games, we are number two in the group and we will be stronger and stonger; it was good for the boys because they got what they deserved," the Dane said.
"This victory will push them more; we have sent a signal that we are moving to great heights."
Zambia beat Ghana with a goal from captain Christopher Katongo in the 15th for a morale-boosting win in Ndola.
Katongo's goal marked a successful opening of the new 40,000-capacity Chinese-built stadium on Zambia's copperbelt and will go a long way to easing tensions.
Zambia's flamboyant French coach Herve Renard criticised sports ministry officials for botching travel arrangements to Sudan, which he blamed for the defeat.
He also revealed that he had not been paid for the last six months since Zambia won the Nations Cup in February.
He has a contract with government rather than the football association and was told to temper his criticism by irritated officials.
The Chipolopolo lost their first competitive match since winning this year's Africa Cup of Nations final when going down 2-0 in Sudan. last weekend.
Ghana had gone into the game with their confidence sky-high after beating Lesotho 7-0 in their opening qualifier.
On Sunday, Lesotho drew 0-0 with Sudan in freezing Maseru - a result that left the visiting Nile Crocodiles top of the group on four points.
Ghana and Zambia both have three points but the Black Stars occupy second place because of a superior goal difference, thanks to that 7-0 mauling of Lesotho.
Congo Brazzaville made full use of home advantage to record a 1-0 victory over Niger in Point Noire on Saturday.
Francis Malonga's goal in the closing stages of the match was the difference between the two sides and propelled the Red Devils to the top of the group.
Niger's preparations for the game were thrown into disarray in midweek when French coach Rolland Courbis walked away from his post.
Courbis, who took charge of Niger one match into their Africa Cup of Nations campaign, said he would not be returning to the side.
Gabon , meanwhile, gave their fans something to smile about when they beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in Libreville.
Remy Ebanega's 56th minute effort settled the tie between the West African rivals.
Gabon co-hosted this year's Africa Cup of Nations and reached the quarter-finals before losing against Mali.
Saturday's match saw coach Paulo Duarte, who led Burkina Faso at this year's Nations Cup, guiding his new side Gabon against the Stallions.
Midfielder Reuben Gabriel scored in second half stoppage time to seemingly again hand Nigeria a late victory for a second successive week, only for Malawi substitute John Banda to equalise a minute later.
It was a match in which the Flames outplayed their more illustrious visitors for long periods but were undone by poor finishing.
The Flames opened their group campaign with a goalless draw in Kenya last weekend, while the Super Eagles had to wait until the 80th minute before finding a way past a stubborn Namibia side.
Nigeria are unbeaten in World Cup qualifying since losing in Angola in 2004, but they struggled to impose themselves against the Malawians.
Nigeria, who have been to four of the last five World Cup finals, laboured again to add to the largely ineffective performance in Calabar last Sunday.
Despite the setback, the Super Eagles still lead the group because of Namibia 's victory over Kenya in Windhoek on Saturday.
An 85th-minute goal from Henrico Botes secured maximum points for the hosts.
Egypt edged 10-man Guinea 3-2 on Sunday in a Conakry thriller to boost hopes of returning to the World Cup in 2014 after a 24-year absence.
Guinea led at half-time, had goalkeeper Naby Yattara red carded at 1-1, trailed and equalised before Mohamed Salah stunned the capacity 35,000 crowd at Stade du 28 Septembre with a late winner in the second round qualifier.
Veteran midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika scored twice within 10 minutes during the second half after Aboul Camara had given Guinea the lead and Alhassane Bangoura netted on 88 minutes to temporarily bring the teams level.
Although Egypt have lifted the Africa Cup of Nations a record seven times, they have qualified for the World Cup only twice - in 1934 and 1990 - and Bradley has repeatedly said that reaching Brazil is his primary objective.
The Pharaohs and the National Elephant look the strongest teams in a Group G completed by Mozambique and Zimbabwe , who played a goalless draw in Maputo.
Egypt have six points from two games, Guinea three and Zimbabwe and Mozambique one each and the North African team coached by American Bob Bradley hold the vital advantage of having played their most powerful foe away.
Mali bounced back from last weekend's defeat to Benin when they beat Algeria in neutral Ouagadougou on Sunday.
Goals from Mahamodou Ndiaye and Modibo Maiga carried the day for the Eagles.
Islam Slimani had given the Desert Foxes the lead who surrendered leadership of the group to Benin.
The game was moved to the capital of Burkina Faso given the recent political problems in Mali following the March coup.
Rwanda snatched a 1-1 Group H draw with improving Benin in Kigali, thanks to a late Labama Kamana goal from the penalty spot after Razak Omotoyossi had opened the scoring in the second half against the run of play.
The award of the spot kick two minutes from time angered Benin defender Khaled Adenon so much that he attacked the Ethiopian referee and after being red carded, was escorted from the pitch by police.
Avoiding defeat was a relief for Serbia-born Rwanda coach Milutin Sredojevic after the Wasps were badly stung in North Africa recently, conceding five goals against Tunisia in a friendly and four against Algeria in another qualifier.
Cameroon , whose six World Cup appearances is a record for an African country, suffered a dramatic 2-1 loss in Group I against Libya , who were forced to play in Tunisian city Sfax because of security instability at home.
Ahmed Zouay gave the Mediterranean Knights a quick lead at Taieb Mhiri Stadium, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting levelled and the winner came in the final minute when Ahmed Osman nodded a corner past goalkeeper Carlos Kameni.
Defeat was a bitter pill for under-pressure Indomitable Lions coach Denis Lavagne to swallow as his team recovered from a sluggish start to dominate the second half but squander chances.
Dieumerci Mbokani has returned to the DR Congo squad for the first time in 14 months
The DR Congo climbed above Cameroon on goal difference into second place behind Libya after a 2-0 win over Togo in Kinshasa despite playing more than half the game a man short because Albert Mutamba was sent off.
Congolese talisman Tresor Mputu scored midway through the opening half and Belgium-based midfielder Dieumerci Mbokani capped his return after a self-imposed 14-month exile by converting a late penalty.
Senegal 's bid to reach their second World Cup, and first since 2002, continued with a 1-1 draw in Uganda on Saturday under stand-in coach Joseph Koto.
New captain and Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse put the Teranga Lions ahead in the 37th.
But Godfrey Walusimbi eaqualised for the Cranes from the penalty spot.
The Cranes began their group campaign in fine style, scoring a late equaliser to grab an important point in Angola while Senegal defeated Liberia 3-1 on the opening day.
Liberia and Angola created few scoring chances during a drab 0-0 draw in Monrovia that benefited Senegal most as they lead Group J by two points.
Angola qualified for the 2006 World Cup against many expectations but struggled to make impression against a team that struggled to impress in recent years.
- Results, Fixtures & Standings