JOHANNESBURG (AP) – Nigeria progressed to the final round of African Cup qualifiers with a 2-0 win over Rwanda on Saturday for a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Cameroon was unimpressive as it edged Guinea-Bissau 1-0 at home to take its tie 2-0 and also go through to the last 30 teams, who will play off for 15 places at next year's Cup of Nations finals alongside host South Africa.
Uganda overturned a 3-1 deficit to beat Republic of Congo 4-0 at home and qualify for the second round. Sierra Leone edged Sao Tome e Principe 5-4 over two legs.
Egypt slipped to a surprise 3-2 home defeat in the delayed first leg of its tie against Central African Republic on Friday and again faces a battle to make the tournament after missing out this year.
On Saturday, Nigeria's Ikechukwu Uche poked home from close range in the ninth minute in Calabar to settle the home team's nerves. Ahmed Musa added a second in the 59th as a stuttering Nigeria under new coach Stephen Keshi found traces of form.
''I am happy,'' Nigeria Football Federation President Aminu Maigari said. ''This is the first time we have scored two goals in a competitive match this year. We did it in style.''
Cameroon was already under pressure after managing only a stoppage-time goal in Guinea-Bissau that gave the four-time African champion a narrow 1-0 aggregate lead from the first leg in February.
Cameroon needed another late goal to seal the tie as Benjamin Moukandjo scored in the 81st in Yaounde. Like Nigeria and Egypt, Cameroon failed to make this year's African Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and was also in the unfamiliar position of having to start qualifying early.
The 16 teams that made the 2012 finals were given a bye to September and October's second round and will be joined by 14 countries from this stage. The African Cup is being played in successive years after organizers moved the tournament away from World Cup years.
Little Sao Tome, which came through preliminary qualifiers, needed one more goal in Freetown to force its way past Sierra Leone on away goals and into the final round after pulling one back in the 47th minute, but the visitors couldn't score again.
Uganda eventually overpowered Republic of Congo in Kampala, but Geoffrey Masa and Emmanuel Okwi's tie-clinching goals came in the last 27 minutes at Nelson Mandela Stadium.
Malawi also turned around its tie with a 2-0 home win over Chad to progress 4-3 on aggregate and Cape Verde thrashed Madagascar 7-1. Liberia squeezed past Namibia 1-0 after holding the Namibians to a 0-0 draw in the second leg.
The remainder of the first-round ties will be decided on Sunday, with the exception of Egypt vs. Central African Republic. Their first-leg game was rescheduled from February to Friday after the death of fans at the Port Said stadium riots in Egypt and the countries will play their second leg on June 30, with the Central Africans in control after their away win.
Egypt's 3-2 loss in Alexandria, where it twice led against a 10-man Central African Republic, was the first for Bob Bradley's team this year.
Also Friday, Algeria booked its place in the final round of qualifiers when Foued Kadir scored in the opening minute to send the Algerians to a 4-1 home win over Gambia and a comfortable 6-2 aggregate victory.