Sweet and simple
Egypt confirmed their qualification to the second stage of the 2010 World Cup with a 4-0 drubbing of Djibouti, Inas Mazhar
Egypt topped Group 12 while Malawi secured a thrilling home victory over DR Congo to make sure of their place in the first round of African qualifying as runners-up. Lomana Lua Lua put DR Congo in front in Blantyre. But Robert Ng'ambi and Chiukepo Msowoya scored to send Malawi through with a 2-1 win.
Guinea and Mozambique took the two remaining places in the 2010 World Cup qualifying stage.
Cameroon, Kenya, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Rwanda, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sudan, Zambia, Togo, Malawi and Egypt were the other 18 teams to go through.
In Cairo's Military Stadium, Egypt simply went through the motions against Djibouti. Egypt had beaten Djibouti by the same 4-0 result in the first--leg match in Djibouti in June, and were virtually assured of qualifying.
On Sunday, Ahli Jeddah striker Emad Moteib opened the score for Egypt 18 minutes into the game with a perfect header. Sporting shorter hair, Moteib appeared fit and healthy since his summer move from Ahli to Saudi Arabia which raised among commentators the question of why Egypt's players change in appearance, for the better, after turning pro abroad.
Team captain Ahmed Hassan scored the second four minutes after the second half started. Mohamed Abou Treika followed with the third in the 20th minute while Djibouti's Riad Said scored an own goal when he netted Hassan's ball into his net two minutes into injury time.
The game was a chance for Hassan Shehata, Egypt's head coach, to test his players, especially the newcomers, in the absence of Ahmed "Mido" Hossam and Amr Zaki.
Djibouti, which lost all their matches in the group, left the game with three yellow cards but their new coach, Egyptian Ahmed Abdel-Moneim "Koshari", insisted they did well.
Cameroon had already qualified as group winners, but enjoyed a welcome goal feast against Mauritius in Yaounde. Samuel Eto'o scored twice as did Albert Meyong Ze in a 5-1 victory. Tanzania claimed a 3-1 win over Cape Verde, who finished second but with too few points for a best runners-up berth.
Guinea survived a comeback to beat Kenya 3-2 on Sunday. Ismael Bangoura, Mamadou Bah and Kamil Zayatte scored before Francis Ouma and Kevin Opondo pulled back late goals. Zimbabwe's slender chances of getting into second place were dashed by a 4-2 defeat by bottom side Namibia in Windhoek on Saturday.
Uganda fought back from a goal down to beat group winners Benin 2-1, but the Cranes finished third in the group after Angola came from behind to beat Niger 3-1 in a game that kicked-off two hours later than the match in Kampala. Manchester United striker Manucho played for Angola.
Nigeria confirmed their status as one of Africa's footballing powerhouses by becoming the only team with a 100 per cent record in this round of matches, thumping Sierra Leone 4-1 in Abuja. World Cup hosts South Africa failed to qualify but they did at least get their second win of the campaign, beating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Malabo. South Africa nevertheless goes to 2010 being the host nation.
Ghana, Gabon and Libya were all tied on 12 points, but it was the Black Stars of Ghana who went through as group winners after their 3-0 win over Lesotho. Sulley Muntari, Junior Agogo and Matthew Amoah got the goals. Gabon's 1-0 victory over Libya in Libreville put them second on goal difference and they progress as one of the best placed runners-up.
Algeria topped the group by just one point after their 0-0 draw with Liberia in Monrovia. Senegal finish in third place and were eliminated on goal difference after their 1-1 draw with neighbours Gambia. The result prompted violence in and around the stadium. Gambia finished second but were the ninth-best runners-up in a competition where the eight best second-placed teams went through along with the 12 group winners.
Ivory Coast confirmed their place at the head of the group with a 3-0 win over Madagascar. Boubacar Sanogo scored twice for the Elephants in Abidjan. Mozambique's 1-0 win over Botswana in Gaborone gave the Mambas an anxious 24-hour wait before it was confirmed that they had squeezed through as one of the best runners-up.
Rwanda had already qualified and did not play on Saturday because this is a three-team group, following the exclusion of Ethiopia. Morocco needed a win over Mauritania to make sure of their place in the next round and Youssef Hadji scored twice as the Atlas Lions eased to a 4-1 win. They finish top on goal difference and Rwanda go through in second place.
Burkina Faso won the group ahead of Tunisia. Both teams had already secured qualification before the weekend, and they both posted impressive wins. Burkina Faso won 3-1 away to Burundi on Sunday, while Tunisia thumped Seychelles 5-0 on Saturday.
Mali topped the group after a 2-1 win over Chad. They needed a late goal from Sidi Keita to make sure of the win and of making progress. Sudan's 2-0 win over Congo-Brazzaville put them in second place and they will go through as one of the eight best performing second-placed teams.
This is another group with only three teams in it. Zambia did not play in this round of games, but finished as group winners thanks to Togo's 6-0 thrashing of Swaziland. Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored four after returning to the side. Togo go through in second place.
The 20 teams that made it through will be drawn into five groups of four for the second phase of qualifications, with the group winners going to the World Cup and the top three in each group going to the Nations Cup.
The draw will be held in Zurich on 22 October.