South Africa dominated Ethiopia during their World Cup qualifier but had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw in Rustenburg.
Salahdin Said Ahmed opened the scoring for Ethiopia in the first half, before Katlego Mphela equalised in the second.
Bafana controlled the early stages, and they did not know what hit them when Said benefited from an error by Tsepo Masilela and worked his way into the area before firing home off the underside of the crossbar, giving Itumeleng Khune no chance in the 28th minute.
Things went from bad to worse for Bafana when Masilela was forced off the field in the 34th minute because of injury.
Ethiopia grew in confidence and almost grabbed a second on the stroke of half-time when Said was at it again, but this time he shot wide.
South Africa fought back to equalise in the 77th minute through Mphela.
The Mamelodi Sundowns striker managed to out-muscle his marker to latch on to a long pass before curling a brilliant shot past the goalkeeper to score his 23rd goal for Bafana in 46 matches.
But they could not find a winner in the final minutes, and the spoils were shared, meaning that Central African Republic tops Group A after their win over Botswana, while South Africa and Ethiopia sit on a point each.
Nigeria opened their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 home success against Namibia.
Spanish-based attacker Ikechukwu Uche scored the only goal of the game with 10 minutes to play.
Benin stunned Mali with a 1-0 success that came thanks to Razak Omotoyossi’s first-half strike.
Mali – who finished third at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations – were heavily favoured heading into the match but came up short against Benin, who last recorded a win in October 2010.
Angola seemed headed for all three points before Uganda snatched a point at the death in their 1-1 draw.
Porto forward Djalma gave Angola the lead after just seven minutes but they were denied by Emmanuel Okwi’s effort on 88 minutes.
Ibrahima Traore’s first-half effort gave Guinea a 1-0 win in Zimbabwe, while Togo and Libya drew 1-1 and Niger and Gabon played out a goalless stalemate.
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