The 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers are in full swing and while some countries are already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, anxiety has begun to creep in for others.
This month's back-to-back games across the continent have shown that the usual suspects, while still commanding respect, are fast losing their auras of invincibility and are no longer striking fear in the hearts of the opposition.
African powerhouse Black Stars of Ghana, would be the first to attest to the fact that the gap is fast closing in. The west African country was saved by the bell as they saw a comfortable 3-0 lead being reduced to a 3-2 win against Lesotho's Likoena, who are regarded as minnows compared to their more illustrious opponents.
The African Soccer Television show was in Bloemfontein to capture the dramatic goals in the last two minutes by Lesotho for viewers of SABC1 Sport's Laduma programme on Sundays.
The performance of the boys from the Mountain Kingdom was such that Ghana and Chelsea superstar Michael Essien declined to give post-match interviews. Unfortunately Likoena left it too late to get into the history books.
The Zimbabweans may have been preoccupied with the turmoil in their country, losing 2-0 to the troubled Kenya in an away match.
One other southern Africa country that is making serious strides in continental soccer is Botswana. The Zebras, once the whipping boys of African soccer, can no longer be taken lightly as they showed with a 2-1 win over Mozambique in the latter's backyard.
Mauritius were charitable to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at home, losing 3-0.