The Desert Foxes set a pattern of away wins with South Africa defeating Congo 2-0 in Pointe-Noire, Mali beating Ethiopia 2-0 in Addis Ababa and Togo defeating Uganda 1-0 in Kampala. Sierra Leone exceeded expectations by drawing 0-0 with Cameroon in Yaounde and Mozambique overcame Cape Verde Islands 2-0 in Maputo in other matches.
Defenders scored both goals with Rafik Halliche putting the 'Desert Foxes' ahead on ten minutes and substitute Djamel Mesbah adding a second in stoppage time. Halliche nodded a corner past goalkeeper McDonald Harawa and Mesbah scored with a deflected close-range shot for the top-ranked team in Africa.
Algeria did best of the five African qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, taking eventual champions Germany to extra time before suffering a 2-1 loss. Malawi attacked for much of the second half and came closest to equalising when captain and midfielder Joseph Kamwendo struck a post.
South Africa made it three wins from five visits to Atlantic city Pointe-Noire by netting twice within four minutes soon after half-time. Bongani Ndulula silenced a 15,000 crowd crammed into the Stade Municipal by scoring off a bicycle kick on 52 minutes.
Tokelo Rantie doubled the lead with a close-range shot after a superb pass from fellow England-based professional Dean Furman. South Africa captain Senzo Meyiwa then made a string of saves to keep Congo at bay and when the Red Devils did score during stoppage time, the effort was ruled offside.
Success for Bafana Bafana (The Boys), who gave a debut to young defender Rivaldo Coetzee, lifted them to the top of Group A with seven points, one more than Congo.