Benin, Lesotho and Congo Brazzaville all recorded victories in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations second-round first leg qualifiers, as Mozambique picked up two precious away goals in Tanzania.
Benin again relied heavily on West Bromwich Albion midfielder Stephane Sessegnon (pictured). He struck their only goal in the 19th minute to earn a 1-0 win over Malawi in Cotonou.
The match ended with both teams reduced to ten men.
Red cards were shown to Benin's Badarou Nafiou and Malawi's Frank Banda for an incident in the 84th minute.
Sessegnon's goal puts him top of the goal-scoring charts in the qualifiers. He has four goals after he struck three in Benin's second round victory over Sao Tome e Principe.
Elsewhere Lesotho defeated Kenya 1-0 in Maseru. Their first leg triumph was completed by a Bushi Moletsane goal on the hour mark.
Kenya had to do without several first-choice players who were refused permission to play because the game fell outside Fifa's international match calendar.
On a disappointing day for East Africa, Tanzania were pegged back to 2-2 by Mozambique in Dar es Salaam.
Tanzania were hoping to take advantage of new Dutch coach Mart Nooij's experience of four years in charge of Mozambique from 2007 to 2011.
Despite being boosted by the availability of star front men Mbwana Samata and Thomas Ulimwengu, who were freed by Democratic Republic of Congo outfit TP Mazembe, Tanzania were thwarted by a determined Mozambique side.
After a goalless first half, the visitors took the lead two minutes after the break from the penalty spot with Elias 'Dominques' Pelembe scoring.
But Tanzania fought back. Zanzibar-born Mcha Khamis hit the equaliser in the 66th minute, and then just seven minutes later, he put the hosts ahead with his own penalty.
The crowd in Dar es Salaam must have thought Tanzania had done enough to win, until the last minute of the game when Isac Carvalho struck to earn Mozambique a 2-2 draw and give them two precious away goals going into their home leg.
Rwanda, who shocked Libya in the last round, found the going much tougher away to Congo-Brazzaville who won their home leg 2-0 in Pointe-Noire.
Cesaire Gandze and Ferebory Dore scored Congo-Brazzaville's goals.
14 teams in total are battling over two-legged ties to fill the remaining seven places in the group stage.
The second legs will be played on the weekend of 1-3 August.
Morocco hosts the Nations Cup finals tournament from 17 January to 8 February 2015.