The Samuel Eto’o-less ‘Indomitable Lions’ joined Nigeria in the third round thanks to second half goals from substitutes Achille Emana and Alain Nkong on the Atlantic island.
Veteran Claudio ‘Lito’ Aguiar raised hopes of a shock Group 1 victory for the Blue Sharks with a 39th-minute goal, but Emana levelled six minutes into the second half and Nkong struck the winner on 65 minutes.
Barcelona striker Eto’o missed the top-of-the-table clash due to a one-match suspension and Cameroon struggled up front until German coach Otto Pfister replaced Modeste Mbami and Achille Webo at half-time.
Cameroon have 13 points and Cape Verde (nine) could join them as one of the best eight runners-up from the 12 groups if they overcome Tanzania in Dar es Salaam next month.
Tanzania ended a four-match run without a win by walloping Mauritius 4-1 in Curepipe through goals from Jerson Tegete (two), Shadrack Nsajigwa and Nizzar Khalfan, but are doomed to finish third on the standings.
Giantkillers Burkina Faso had their hopes of joining Cameroon in the next phase put on hold after a goalless draw with Tunisia in Ouagadougou.
The Burkinabe Stallions needed maximum points to clinch first place in Group 9 and they were seeking a double over Tunisia having scored twice in the closing stages to snatch a shock 2-1 away victory last June.
A draw in Burundi will assure Burkina Faso of first place while regular World Cup qualifiers Tunisia, three points adrift, complete their six-match schedule at home to whipping boys Seychelles.
Burundi were the latest nation to defeat the Indian Ocean islanders, winning 2-1 in Victoria thanks to goals from Henry Mbazumutima and Claude Nahimana before Philip Zialor reduced arrears.
Minnows Sierra Leone climbed above 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa into second spot in Group 4 after defeating Equatorial Guinea 2-1 in Freetown via goals from Kewullay Conteh and Sheriff Suma.
Juvenal Edjogo scored a stoppage-time consolation goal for the visitors who were suffering a fourth consecutive loss after launching their campaign with a home victory over the Leone Stars three months ago.
Kenya moved three points clear of Guinea at the top of Group 2 by edging Namibia 1-0 in Nairobi with Jamal Mohammed converting a penalty on the stroke of half-time after John Njoroge was tripped.
Gambia thrashed Liberia 3-0 in a Group 6 West Africa derby to move above Senegal into second place, one point behind Algeria. Njogu Demba scored twice and Ousman Jallow once during the first half in Banjul.
Malawi moved to joint-top of Group 12 with a 3-0 win over hosts Djibouti and Libya followed suit with a 1-0 win over Ghana to establish themselves at the top of Group Five.
Malawi opened up Friday’s trio of games with an impressive 3-0 win over hosts Djibouti at the Gouled Stadium in Djibouti City. Goals from Chiukepo Msowoya, Moses Chavula and Nyondo saw the Flames roar into a three-way draw at the top of qualifying Group 12 with Egypt and DR Congo. The other two section toppers will meet Sunday in Kinshasa.
Djibouti have no points from their five games so far and are out of the running for a spot in either the 2010 CAF African Cup of Nations or the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa after conceding 26 goals and scoring only two.
The Group Five contest between Ghana and Libya in Tripoli ended in a 1-0 win for the home side thanks to goal six minutes from time from Ahmed Osman.
The result sees the Libyans move top of the section with 12 points from five matches, three better than the defeated Black Stars.