Cape Verde defeated Mozambique 1-0 to become the first qualifier for the 2015 CAF Cup of Nations after a dramatic matchday four of qualifying which saw Algeria also progress.
Heldon Ramos was the toast of Cape Verde - a group of islands off Senegal with a population of less than a million - by scoring the 76th-winner in Praia.
The islanders debuted in the Cup of Nations last year and exceeded expectations by reaching the quarter-finals after holding host South Africa and Morocco and defeating Angola.
Cape Verde has nine points in Group F, Zambia and Mozambique five each and Niger two with the final two matchdays scheduled for mid-November.
Although Zambia and Mozambique could finish level on points with Cape Verde, the island nation would secure a place on the head-to-head rule.
The Blue Sharks were joined by Algeria later on Thursday (AEDT) as goals from Yacine Brahimi, Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani earned the Desert Foxes a 3-0 triumph over Malawi in Blida.
Algeria is the only team with a perfect record after four rounds and leads Group B by six points from Mali with Ethiopia and Malawi three points further behind.
Congo DR stunned Cote d'Ivoire 4-3 in Abidjan while title-holder Nigeria overcame Sudan 3-1 to get back into contention for a place among the 16 finalists.
Ghana stayed on track to qualify with a 3-1 home win against Guinea and shock 2012 champion Zambia trounced visiting Niger 3-0 to end an embarrassing winless streak.
Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Togo and Tunisia also won while the South Africa-Congo Brazzaville and Burkina Faso-Gabon matches were drawn.