(CNN) -- Egypt kept their World Cup hopes alive as the only goal of the game by Ahmed Hassan gave them a 1-0 win over Rwanda in Kigali.
Star midfielder Ahmed Hassan scored the vital goal for Egypt in Kigali.
He scored from an Ahmed Fathi pass after 58 minutes to lift them level on points at the top with Algeria in African Qualifying Group C.
But Algeria, who host Zambia on Sunday, can re-open a three point lead with victory.
Only the top team in each of the five African groups qualifies for the finals in South Africa next year, with the top three qualifying for the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola.
South Africa, who have won the Nations Cup a record six times, have a poor record in World Cup qualifying and have only made two appearances in the final.
Saturday's win was vital as they completed the double over Rwanda, having beaten them 3-0 in Cairo two months ago.
Substitute Chiukepo Msowoya scored twice after coming on at half-time as Malawi came from behind to defeat Guinea 2-1 in a Group E game between World Cup also-rans.
Oumar Kalabane put the West Africans ahead seven minutes before half-time at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, Msowoya leveled a minute after half-time and snatched the 58th-minute winner.
African powerhouses Cameroon also scored a much-need qualification win as they beat Gabon 2-0 in Libreville in Group A.
Achille Emana and Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o scored in quick succession in the second half as the 'Indomitable Lions' climbed to second in the group, two points behind Gabon.
Cameroon entertain Gabon in Yaounde on Wednesday, looking for a victory which would further boost their chances of going to South Africa.
Eto'o was scoring his seventh goal of the qualifying campaign to seal the victory.
Ivory Coast kept their iron grip on Group E as two goals from Chelsea striker Didier Drogba saw them beat second-placed Burkina Faso 5-0.
The star-studded Ivory Coast team need just a single point to make sure they qualify for South Africa and they were never troubled by the visitors in Abidjan.
Drogba took his tally to 38 international goals with his second half double.
Kader Keita and Yaya Toure also scored after the Elephants had taken the lead in the 12th minute when Saidou Panandetiguiri scored an own-goal.
In the other match in Group E, Chiukepo Msowoya scored twice as Malawi beat Guinea 2-1 in Group E.
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