Ethiopia closer to World Cup berth

Minyahil Teshome completed his journey from villain to hero after firing Ethiopia to within two matches of next year's FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.

The 27-year-old struck a 61st-minute winner as Ethiopia came from a goal down against Central African Republic to secure a 2-1 victory and its place in Africa's 10-team play-off round.

Teshome had been the player at the heart of the controversy that had threatened Ethiopia's progress, after it was docked points for fielding the midfielder when he should have been suspended in June's qualifier against Botswana.

That penalty meant Ethiopia's place would have only been assured by victory in Brazzaville - with South Africa coasting past Botswana 4-1.

But the Bafana Bafana's result was deemed meaningless as Salahdin Ahmed (48) and Teshome (61) struck after Salif Keita had given the host a 23rd-minute lead.

Bernard Parker (84, 89) scored twice for South Africa after Kermit Erasmus (28) and Dean Furman (45) had fired the 2010 FIFA World Cup host into a 2-0 half-time lead.

Jerome Ramatlhakwana scored Botswana's only goal 17 minutes from the end.

Nigeria progressed on the back of a 2-0 win over Malawi.

Emmanuel Emenike beat the offside trap to open the scoring in first-half injury-time before Victor Moses's placed penalty six minutes after the restart sealed the win.

Ghana, Algeria, Egypt and Cote d'Ivoire have already secured their place in the next stage - where the winners of the five two-legged ties will book their place at the FIFA World Cup finals.

Burkina Faso jumped ahead of Congo in Group E after a 1-0 win against Gabon in Ouagadougou.

Prejuce Nakoulma scored the goal to send Burkina Faso through on 54 minutes after Congo could only draw 2-2 away to Niger.

Congo twice battled back from behind, Fabrice Nguessi (66) and Ulrich Kapolongo (76) cancelling out goals from Mahamane Cisse (34) and Daouda Kamilou (7), but the winner the visitor needed never arrived.

Cape Verde Islands upset Tunisia 2-0 in Rades to move above the north African side and progress as Group B winner.

Platini opened the scoring on 28 minutes with Nhuck adding a second three minutes before half-time.

Sierra Leone ended its campaign with a 3-2 home win over Equatorial Guinea.

Senegal sealed its place in Group J with a 1-0 win over 10-man Uganda.

Godfrey Walusimbi saw red on 36 minutes and Senegal eventually made the extra man advantage tell through Sadio Mane six minutes from the end.

Cote d'Ivoire, already through, drew 1-1 at home to Morocco after Didier Drogba's late penalty cancelled out Youssef El Arabi's 53rd-minute opener. Mustapha Jarhue struck twice as Gambia beat Tanzania 2-0.

Source PRESS ASSOCIATION