Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia and Egypt were among only 12 nations that registered victories on match day two of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers played over the weekend.
Half of the games played across the continent ended in stalemates including the East African derby that pitted Uganda and Tanzania at Namboole.
In group A, Senegal drew 2-2 away with Madagascar in a game marred by a stampede before kick off.
It’s reported that over 40 people were injured in a fracas in Antananarivo where Senegal twice led through Moussa Konate and Keita Balde goals but were pegged back.
In the same group, Equatorial Guinea won 1-0 against Sudan
Group B saw Clarence Seedorf’s Cameroon; hosts for the competition play to a 1-1 draw with minnows Comoros away and needed a Stephan Mbia goal late on to salvage a draw.
North African giants Morocco picked their first win of the competition with a comfortable 3-0 win over Malawi.
A brace from Youssef En-Nesyri and the other from Hakim Ziyech won the points for the Atlas Lions.
Mali maintained their perfect show in Group C with an easy 3-0 win over South Sudan in Juba.
Moussa Marega, Salif Coulibaly and Adama Traore scored for the West African side to maintain a grip on the log with 6 points, two adrift of Burundi which drew 1-1 with Gabon in Libreville.
Saido Berahino scored for the visitors before Arsenal star Pierre Emerick Aubameyang saved the hosts blushes with an equaliser midway the second half.
In Group D, much fancied Algeria could only pick a point away to Gambia in a 1-1 draw while Benin and Togo played to a goalless draw which earned the Sparrow Hawks their first point of the campaign.
Nigeria got their first points in Group E with an emphatic triumph away to Seychelles to get their campaign back on track after they had lost to South Africa on match day one.
Bafana Bafana could only draw at home to Libya in a game of missed chances in the same group as the two stayed joint top with four points.
In Group F, Kenya stunned giants Ghana at Moi International Sports Stadium, Kasarani with a 1-0 victory thanks to an own goal by Nicholas Opuku.
Ethiopia’s 1-0 victory over Sierra Leone means the four teams tied on three points apiece after two games.
There were only draws in Group G as Zimbabwe held Congo Brazzaville away and Liberia couldn’t beat DR Congo at home.
All matches ended in a 1-1 stalemate leaving Zimbabwe and DR Congo tied on four points at the summit while Liberia and Congo have one each.
In Group H, Meddie Kagere scored for Rwanda’s Amavubi on his return to the team but strike wasn’t enough as the hosts succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of star studded Ivory Coast.
Guinea edged visitors Central African Republic 1-0 in Conakry to keep top position with maximum points from two games; three better than both Rwanda and Ivory Coast.
The biggest shock so far was in Group I where little fancied Mauritania stunned Burkina Faso 2-0 to continue their perfect start to the campaign while Angola won 1-0 against Botswana to get into second place with three points.
In Group J, record African champions Egypt registered the biggest victory when they won 6-0 at home to Niger.
Mohamed Salah was the star of the show scoring twice, setting up two goals and missing two penalties.
Elsewhere, their rivals Tunisia moved three points clear at the top with a 2-0 away win to Eswatini (former Swaziland).
Uganda and Tanzania played to an entertaining goalless draw at Namboole in Group L on a soggy pitch following an afternoon downpour.
However, the stalemate didn’t hurt as much for either as Lesotho and Cape Verde also played out a same result though a scoring 1-1 draw in this case.
That implies Uganda stays top of the standings with four points, Lesotho and Tanzania one each while Cape Verde are on a single point.
Action in the competition resumes next month and at the end of six matches for each team, the 12 group winners and runners-up will secure places at the 2019 Nations Cup finals.
That’s however different in Group B where hosts Cameroon and the highest-placed other team both qualify.