Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

12 November, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Peru's Paolo Guerrero celebrates after scoring against Colombia during their 2018 World Cup qualifier football match in Lima

Nabil Dirar scored the first goal and Mehdi Benatia added a second one five minutes later.

Cote d'Ivoire needed an outright win to qualify while a draw would still have been enough for Morocco.

Morocco qualified on Saturday after defeating the Ivory Coast 2-0.

West Africa has dominated Africa's contingent at the World Cup in recent years but some of its big names missed out this time: Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana, all African champions multiple times, won't be in Russian Federation.

Morocco and Tunisia have joined Nigeria, Egypt, and Senegal as the African teams who will be playing in the World Cup this summer.

The Atlas Lions are returning to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years after they last made it in 1998. Before today's matches, Morocco had 9 points while the Ivorians had 8 points; meaning the victor of the match would qualify.


Tunisia also booked their spot at Russian Federation 2018 with a tense 0-0 draw against Libya.

Morocco travelled to Abidjan leading Ivory Coast by a point in Group C and needing only a draw in the last matchday.

Dirar opened the scoring off a cross-turned-shot on 25 minutes and Benatia doubled the lead after a corner on the half-hour.

Immediately after Morocco's national team secured it qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Moroccans of NY flocked to Steinway street in Astoria to celebrate this victory.

The Tunisians secured a fifth appearance at the tournament by topping the table with 14 points, one more than the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Guinean Ousmane Sidibe conceded an own-goal after 61 minutes and Keita Junior levelled just three minutes after coming off the bench.

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