Getaneh Kebede scored twice for Ethiopia in their 3-3 draw with Algeria
Ethiopia held Algeria 3-3 to prevent the Desert Foxes booking their place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2017).
Algeria would have qualified for the tournament had they beaten Ethiopia, who they had thrashed 7-1 in Blida in their first group meeting on Friday.
This time Ethiopia took the lead three times but a late penalty by Faouzi Ghoulam secured a point for Algeria.
Algeria are top of Group J with 10 points, five points clear of Ethiopia with two matches left to play.
The 13 group winners are guaranteed a place at the finals in Gabon, with the two best-placed runners-up also going through. Gabon qualify automatically as hosts.
Getaneh Kebede scored either side of Islam Slimani’s equalizer to put Ethiopia 2-1 up on Tuesday.
Aissa Mandi leveled again and Dawit Fikadu restored Ethiopia’s advantage only for Ghoulam to slot home from the spot with five minutes remaining.
In the other match in the group Lesotho were surprise victors over Seychelles.
Tumelo Khutlang struck the winning goal for the hosts, avenging the 2-0 away defeat Lesotho suffered in Seychelles four days ago and giving Lesotho their first points of the group stage.
The results mean Algeria will qualify for the finals if they avoid defeat against Seychelles in June.
Senegal also had a chance of booking their place in Gabon following their 2-1 win in Niger – but they needed a draw between Burundi and Namibia.
Instead, Burundi secured a 3-1 away to sustain the competition in Group K.
However, leaders Senegal need only to avoid defeat against Burundi in June to ensure their qualification.
Guinea came back from a goal down to win 2-1 in Malawi in Group L.
Idrissa Sylla’s 60th-minute winner lifts Guinea from bottom spot to second place in the table, above Swaziland on goal difference and three points behind group leaders Zimbabwe with two games remaining.
Reigning champions Ivory Coast drew 1-1 with Sudan in Group I.
It effectively keeps Ivory Coast in pole position to qualify with six points, two points clear of Sudan and three ahead of Sierra Leone.
The fourth team in the group, Gabon, lead the group with seven points but as 2017 hosts their matches do not count towards qualification.
In Group B DR Congo regained top spot with a 2-0 win over Angola.
Joel Kimuaki Mpela and Jonathan Bolingi scored the goals for DR Congo who now have nine points, two more than Central African Republic.
Rwanda thumped Mauritius 5-0 with Ernest Sugira scoring a rapid-fire brace in their Group H tie in Kigali.
It gave Northern Irishman Johnny McKinstry’s side sweet revenge for their 1-0 defeat in Mauritius three days ago. Rwanda move up to second in the table on six points, four points behind Ghana.
Liberia also romped to a 5-0 win, which included a hat-trick by William Jebor, as they made short work of pointless Djibouti in Group A. The win lifted Liberia to nine points and top spot in the group, two points clear of Togo and Tunisia who drew 0-0.
Group D has tightened up after a 0-0 draw between Uganda and Burkina Faso,who had Charles Kabore sent off.
Uganda and Burkina Faso have seven points and Botswana, who beat Comoros on Sunday, have six points with only two rounds of games remaining.
There were no goals in the Group M games between The Gambia and Mauritania and South Africa and Cameroon.
Cameroon have eight points and lead the group by a point from Mauritania.