The familiar big names were all successful on Tuesday as the likes of Algeria, Ivory Coast and Nigeria all advanced in the African section of World Cup qualification.
Algeria, who reached the last 16 in Brazil last year before being beaten by eventual champions Germany, were the most emphatic winners of the day as they trounced Tanzania 7-0.
After a 2-2 draw in the second-round first leg, Christian Gourcuff’s side brushed aside their opponents in Blida – Faouzi Ghoulam and Islam Slimani netting braces while there were further goals from Yacine Brahimi, Riyad Mahrez and Carl Medjani.
Ivory Coast were also comfortable winners, adding to their 1-0 first-leg lead over Liberia with a 3-0 success thanks to Giovanni Sio’s brace and one from Jean Seri.
Egypt overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit in style by thumping Chad 4-0, while Nigeria’s 2-0 home win over Swaziland saw them progress after a goalless first leg, Efe Ambrose and Moses Simon the goalscorers.
Ghana – whose quarter-final appearance in 2010 remains the equal best of any African nation at a World Cup – secured their place in the last qualifying stage as strikes from Wakaso Mubarak and Jordan Ayew secured a 2-0 win after a 0-0 first-leg draw against Comoros.
Cameroon’s work had largely been done with a 3-0 first-leg win at Niger, and Alexandre Belinga’s men finished the job with a goalless draw.
South Africa’s passage was similarly comfortable as Manucho Diniz’s own goal midway through the second half earned them a 1-0 win over Angola and a 4-1 aggregate victory.
Senegal, who like Cameroon and Ghana have also reached the last eight of a World Cup, prevailed – their 3-0 win over Madagascar seeing them through 5-2.
Tunisia defeated Mauritania 2-1 for the second time in five days to go through, while Congo saw off Ethiopia 2-1 to advance 6-4 and Libya’s 3-1 win at Rwanda saw them progress 4-1 on aggregate.
Elsewhere, Burkina Faso and Mali both won 2-0 to overturn 2-1 first-leg deficits against Benin and Botswana respectively, while Cape Verde Islands’ 2-0 victory completed the turnaround against Kenya, who had won 1-0 in the first leg.