Egypt beat Gabon 1-0 in Group B of the African Under-23 Championship in Morocco on Sunday, as South Africa and Ivory Coast drew 1-1.
South Africa played much of their match with ten men but keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo also saved a penalty to keep his side in the game.
Mohamed Ahmed Magdy got the only goal for Egypt in their victory over Gabon.
Egypt are top of the table in a tournament which doubles as Africa's 2012 Olympic qualifying campaign.
His strike came early in the second-half as the Gabonese defence failed to deal with a cross properly, allowing Magdy to sweep home from 12 yards out.
Hany Ramzy's side then took control of the game and the Gabonese struggled to mount any meaningful attacks.
In the last ten minutes Gabon came close to scoring twice from inswinging corners by Alexander Ndoumbou, but both were cleared off the line by Egypt and the Olympic Pharaohs held on.
In the later game, South Africa and Ivory Coast played out a 1-1 draw, with Amaglug-glug, as South Africa's U23 side are known, were grateful to hold on.
They had taken the lead through Phumulele Bhengu in the 22nd minute but shortly after the break, Thami Sangweni was sent off after picking-up a second yellow card and they were on the back foot from that point.
Midway through the second half, Ivory Coast were awarded a penalty after Kevin Beugre was brought down in the area but SA keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo guessed correctly and saved the shot.
But Ivory Coast got back into the game with eight minutes remaining as Henri Griffiths, on as a substitute, fired home from close range and the match finished 1-1.
The tournament continues on Tuersday with the start of the second round of matches.
The top three sides in the event qualify for the Olympic Games, while the fourth-placed side faces a play-off against an Asian team for another spot at London 2012.