Morocco Stun Ivory Coast To Join Tunisia In Qualifying For World Cup

Tricia Pearson
November 12, 2017

Morocco qualified for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.

The Moroccan football team qualified for the 2018 World Cup Russia by defeating, in Abidjan, its Ivorian counterpart (2-0) on Saturday at the Felix Houphouët Boigny stadium.

That result eliminated the Ivorians from the tournament in Russian Federation in 2018, while Tunisia also qualified at the expense of DR Congo.

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

It will be Tunisia's first FIFA World Cup involvement since 2006 in Germany, and it joins Morocco, Egypt, Senegal and Nigeria as Africa's five representatives for Russian Federation 2018.

The qualification of Morocco and Tunisia signaled an apparent shift in African soccer, giving North Africa three teams at the World Cup and more than any other region for the first time since 1986.

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Morocco and Tunisia became the final African nations to qualify for the 2018 World Cup as both countries ended long spells away from the finals.

Ivory Coast suffered a double blow as Medhi Benatia made it 2-0 for Herve Renard's troops in the 30th minute with a strike from the centre of the box that found the roof of the net.

Dirar gave his side the lead in the 25 minute when a cross-cum-shot from the Fenerbahçe winger eluded Ivory Coast keeper Sylvain Gbohouo.

Tunisia survived some nervous moments in Rades as Libya finished strongly.

Morocco completed the campaign without conceding a goal, finishing on 12 points, four ahead of the Ivorians.

Tunisia finished on 14 points in Group A of the African preliminaries, one ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who fell short despite a 3-1 win over Guinea in Kinshasa at the same time.

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