The Stallions of Burkina Faso and the Azingos of Gabon took giant steps towards qualification for their first ever FIFA World Cup with crucial victories on day two of the 2010 World Cup/Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Saturday.
The Stallions beat the Flames of Malawi by a lone goal in Blantyre in a Group E clash whilst the Azingos humbled the Hawks of Togo 3-0 in Libreville in Group A.
The results saw the two sides maintain their hundred percent record that pushed them to the pinnacle of their respective groups and kept alive their hopes of qualification for the two major competitions; Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup.
The two sides, yet to taste World Cup action have emerged the surprise packets of the qualifiers and remain in pole position for a place at the first ever Mundial to be staged on African soil.
In Blantyre, Moumouni Dagano emerged hero for the Stallions courtesy his 70th minute strike that “extinguished” the Flames at their backyard.
It was Dagano’s 10th goal of the campaign that moved his team to six points and leadership of the group, which includes Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire who slug it out on Sunday in Conakry.
For the Azingos, Moise Brou’s 83rd minute effort sealed the wide-margin victory over an ordinary Togo side after Bruno Ecuele and Roguy Meye had set the tone with strikes on 11 and 56 minutes respectively.
The Hawks, who stunned all with a 1-0, win over the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon last March were completely outplayed and had their plight worsened with the sending-off of attacking midfielder Thomas Dossevi five minutes from recess.
There were also home wins for Zambia and Tunisia as they remained on course for tickets to the Mundial.
Midfielder Rainford Kalaba’s late strike powered Zambia to a lone goal victory over Rwanda in their Group C clash in Chililabombwe.
The result temporarily moves the Chipolopolo to the apex of the group’s standings on four points, three richer than Algeria and Egypt, who meet in Blida on Sunday.
In Rades, Ouissen Ben Yahi scored from the spot while Oussama Darragi sealed victory in added-on time as Tunisia beat Mozambique 2-0 in a Group B clash.
Malawi 0 - 1 Burkina Faso (Group E)
Zambia 1 - 0 Rwanda (Group C)
Gabon 3 - 0 Togo (Group A)
Tunisia 2-0 Mozambique (Group B)