Firmin Mubele Ndombe scored twice in the last four minutes to fire DR Congo to a come-from-behind 3-2 win away to Burundi in the first leg of their 2018 World Cup qualifier.
DR Congo had opened the scoring on only five minutes through Crystal Palace forward Yannick Bolasie.
Hosts Burundi turned the game on its head thanks to a brace from Cedric Amissi - his second coming on 83 minutes.
Yet with time running out Ndombe struck an equaliser on 86 minutes and the Al Ahli striker grabbed the winner two minutes later.
The result puts DR Congo in a strong position to advance with the return leg in Kinshasa on 15 November.
Guinea also earned a win on the road, edging to a 1-0 victory over Namibia despite playing with only 10 men for nearly all of the second half.
Naby Keita scored the only goal of the game on 28 minutes.
Fousseni Bamba was sent off on 50 minutes when he was shown a second yellow card but Guinea held on.
The sides will meet again on Sunday in Casablanca, Morocco - Guinea cannot hosts matches in their country because it is not yet free of Ebola.
Benin bucked the trend by securing a 2-1 home win against Burkina Faso.
West Brom forward Stephane Sessegnon opened the scoring with a penalty just before half-time.
Prejuce Nakoulma equalised for the Burkinabe shortly after the interval but Bello Issiaka Babatounde scored the winner with only four minutes remaining.
The return leg will take place in Ougadougou on Tuesday.
But there was another away victory later on Thursday, with Uganda overcoming Togo 1-0.
Farouk Miya got the goal on 39 minutes. Togo's Mathieu Dossevi missed a chance to equalise when his penalty was saved by keeper Dennis Onyango.
Uganda will defend their advantage in Kampala on Sunday.
Morocco beat Equatorial Guinea 2-0 at home in Agadir despite defender Adil Karrouchi being sent-off early in the second half.
Youssef El Arabi hit the opener from close range in the first half and Yacine Bammou scored after Karrouchi's straight red card. Morocco head to Bata for Sunday's second leg.