Mali secured a place at next year’s African World Cup play-offs but Ghana’s hopes of reaching Qatar 2022 suffered a setback following a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia.
Mali beat 10-man Rwanda 3-0 to secure top spot in Group E and join Morocco and Senegal in progressing through the group stage.
Meanwhile, a win for Ghana in their final group match may not even be enough to finish above South Africa in their group after the Black Stars drew 1-1 against Ethiopia in Johannesburg.
Only the group winners will progress to the play-offs next March, when the continent’s five representatives in the Middle East will be decided.
Captain Andre Ayew fired Ghana ahead from a free-kick midway through the first half, but Getaneh Kebede equalised for Ethiopia with 18 minutes remaining when he volleyed in.
The draw temporarily puts Ghana level on points with South Africa at the summit of Group G, but Bafana Bafana moved three points clear after win over Zimbabwe.
Goal difference will decide top spot if the two sides finish level on points.
South Africa will travel to Milovan Rajevac’s Ghana in the final round of group matches on Sunday.
The Black Stars failed to reach the World Cup in Russia in 2018, while South Africa have not played at the tournament since hosting the first finals in Africa in 2010.
Mali moved a step closer to qualifying for their first-ever World Cup as they extended their unbeaten record, which has seen them win four games and draw another in Group E without conceding.
Southampton midfielder Moussa Djenepo fired home Mali’s opener from outside the area 12 minutes later, and Ibrahima Kone immediately doubled the lead with his fifth goal in has last three qualifiers as he made the most of a mistake by Rwanda keeper Emery Mvuyekure.
The win gave Mali an unassailable four-point lead over Uganda with a game to spare.
Hosts Rwanda were reduced to 10 men after just seven minutes when Djihad Bizimana was shown a straight red card.
Uganda 1-1 Kenya
Rwanda 0-3 Mali
Ethiopia 1-1 Ghana
Congo 1-1 Namibia
Tanzania 0-3 DR Congo
Benin 2-0 Madagascar
Georgia 2-0 Sweden
Russia 6-0 Cyprus