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Morocco and Tunisia qualify for Fifa World Cup finals in Russian Federation

12 November, 2017, 02:09 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • 2018 World Cup: Tunisia is on the Highway to Russia

Goals from defenders Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia handed Morocco a 2-0 away win over the Ivory Coast on Saturday in their last World Cup qualifier and booked a return to the finals for the first time in two decades.

Morocco needed only a draw in their last group game to finish top of the standings ahead of the Ivorians, who had to win to clinch a place in Russian Federation.

They'll join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal as the continent's five representatives at next year's tournament in Russian Federation.

The 2004 African champions have now qualified for their fifth World Cup (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006).

The Ivorians continued to pressurise the visitors with 10 minutes to play but they lacked the sense of urgency for a team that needed three goals in the remaining minutes to qualify. Tunisia qualified for the World Cup after winning the group with 14 points.


Dirar's in-swinging cross beat everyone and found the corner of the net in the 25th minute.

Ivory Coast manager Marc Wilmots has revealed that he was hoping to have Tiemoue Bakayoko starting in his midfield, but the Chelsea midfielder opted for France.

Tunisia, meanwhile, progressed as winners of Group A despite not being able to end their campaign with victory over Libya, who finished bottom.

With second-place Democratic Republic of Congo netting twice in stoppage time to defeat Guinea 3-1 in Kinshasa, only one point separated the top two. The Tunisians held on for the draw, though, and it turned out to be a precious point.

Morocco and Tunisia have joined Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal to secure spots in the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals, as the five nations will represent Africa in Russian Federation.

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