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African champions Nigeria snatched a dramatic draw and there were vital wins for Burkina Faso, Cameroon and South Africa Saturday in World Cup qualifiers.
Nnamdi Oduamadi, who was not part of the 2013 Cup of Nations-winning squad last month, equalised three minutes into stoppage time after 17-year-old Francis Kahata had given Kenya a shock first-half lead in Calabar.
Burkina Faso, runners-up to Nigeria in South Africa after a giantkilling run that far exceeded expectations, trounced Niger 4-0 at home in a must-win match, although group leaders Congo Brazzaville also won.
Record four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o scored in each half as fallen giants Cameroon used home advantage to win 2-1 against Emmanuel Adebayor-less Togo.
Thabo Matlaba and Bernard Parker were on target as wasteful South Africa won 2-0 in Cape Town over Central African Republic, whose capital Bangui fell this weekend to rebels opposing President Francois Bozize.
There were also victories for Ivory Coast, playing without dropped icon Didier Drogba, Malawi and Tunisia while Angola fought back to hold Senegal in neutral Conakry.
Kenya captain Victor Wanyama, from Scottish champions Celtic, predicted his side would stun Nigeria, and they came agonisingly close after Kahata scored from a free kick.
But the Super Eagles salvaged a draw three minutes into additional time when the Harambee Stars failed to clear and Oduamadi earned his country a point that left them ahead of Malawi in Group F on goals scored.
Malawi upset Namibia 1-0 in Windhoek through a mid-second half goal from Gabadin Mhango to give caretaker coach Edington Ng'onamo a win in his first competitive outing.
Ivory Coast, whose fifth consecutive failure to justify favouritism at a Cup of Nations cost Drogba his place, outplayed Gambia 3-0 in Abidjan through goals from Wilfried Bony, Yaya Toure and Salomon Kalou.
Tunisia moved five points clear of Sierra Leone in Group B after winning the top-of-the-table clash 2-1 in Rades with Oussama Darragi and Wahbi Khazri on target before Alhassan Kamara reduced the arrears.
Giant Queens Park Rangers centre-back Christopher Samba was the Congo match-winner against Gabon in Pointe Noire, snatching the only goal on 67 minutes to give the Red Devils a six-point Group E advantage.