Algeria overcame Malawi 2-0, South Africa triumphed by the same score in Congo and Côte d'Ivoire won 2-1 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sierra Leone exceeded expectations to hold Cameroon 0-0 in Yaounde and Togo upset Uganda 1-0 in Kampala.
A Bakry Almadina header on 41 minutes in Khartoum gave Sudan a first Group A win and Nigeria slumped to bottom place with a solitary point halfway through the qualifiers. Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel netted three minutes from time but was clearly offside and he pulled another shot wide as the Super Eagles mounted a late offensive.
Bongani Ndulula silenced a 15,000 crowd crammed into the Stade Municipal by scoring via 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.
Defenders scored both Algerian goals in Blantyre 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™ in Brazil, taking eventual champions Germany to extra time before suffering a 2-1 loss. Wilfried Bony from English Premier League outfit Swansea fluffed a penalty for Côte d'Ivoire, then scored to give the Elephants a half-time lead in Kinshasa.
Cedric Mongongu levelled off a spot kick only for Max-Alain Gradel to earn the Ivorians maximum points with a goal seven minutes from time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund was the only striker to bag a brace and the goals earned Gabon a 2-0 Group C win over Burkina Faso in Libreville.
Another Germany-based African, Ibrahima Traore, fired a superb equaliser nine minutes from time for Guinea in a 1-1 draw against Ghana. Captain Asamoah Gyan scored for Ghana in the opening half of their Group E match in Casablanca.