Zambia beat Guinea-Bissau 2-1 in Lusaka with Ethiopia and Kenya playing out a 0-0 draw as qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations resumed on Wednesday.
Zambia’s victory over Guinea-Bissau kick-started their hopes of qualifying, bringing Chipolopolo their first victory in Group K.
Stoppila Sunzu put Zambia ahead after 17 minutes with Justin Shonga adding a second, but it was a nervy finish for the hosts who held on despite a late Frederic Mendy goal for Guinea-Bissau.
The results puts Mozambique top of Group K on four points from two games, ahead of both Zambia and Guinea-Bissau on goal difference.
Both teams have played a game more than Mozambique who host bottom side Namibia on Saturday.
Earlier, Ethiopia and visitors Kenya played out a 0-0 draw in Group F of qualifying for next year’s finals.
The Harambee Stars thought they had scored five minutes before half-time but the goal from striker Michael Olunga, who plays in Japan, was ruled out for for a foul.
Kenya’s coach Sebastien Migne said it was a “fair result.”
“We had missed some opportunities in the first half. After the resumption it was a bit difficult for us.
“All in all it is a fair result. The return leg in Kasarani is now like a final tie,” Migne told reporters.
His Ethiopia counterpart, Abraham Mebratu, was happy with the performance of his side.
“I am content with the fighting spirit of my boys. I can see that we have got a good game.
“We deserve to get more than a draw as we dominated our opponents. The second leg is now a make or break situation for us,” Mebratu said.
The neighbours are set to face each other again on Sunday in Nairobi.
Both teams now have four points from their three matches so far.
The other match in this group between Ghana and Sierra Leone has been called off by the Confederation of African Football as Leone Stars are currently banned from global football.
It is still unclear whether the games between the Black Stars and the Leone Stars, who both have three points from two matches, will be played at some point in the future.