Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Defenders book Morocco's place at World Cup

Morocco Outclass CIV To Seal World Cup Spot Tunisia Through 2018 World Cup Qualifying Wrap 11 November 2017
Spencer Simpson | 12 November, 2017, 01:11

But it proved to be enough and, after missing out in 2010 and 2014, Tunisia will be at the World Cup for a fifth time.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Tunisia played out a tense goalless draw with Libya to edge Congo DR to top spot by just one point.

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.

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

Tunisia and Morocco completed CAF's line up at the FIFA World Cup™, securing the last of Africa's berths at Russian Federation 2018.

Libya avoided last place in the group with the draw as they advanced to four points with Guinea staying on three.

Morocco and Tunisia will join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal as the African sides in Russian Federation next summer.

Ivory Coast had the first chance at a packed 35 000-seat Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny but veteran Gervinho blazed over with only the goalkeeper to beat from inside the box. Before today's matches, Morocco had 9 points while the Ivorians had 8 points; meaning the victor of the match would qualify.

Benatia blasted in from a corner during the 2-0 victory away to the Ivory Coast.

Belgian coach Marc Wilmots tried to revive the lacklustre Ivorians by introducing Ghislain Konan at half-time and Maxwel Cornet and veteran Salomon Kalou during the second half.

Tunisia dominated the first half without finding the breakthrough to ease their nerves and their anxiety would have increased with the news an Ousmane Sidibe own goal had put DR Congo ahead in Kinshasa.

Jonathan Bolingi put the Congolese Lions ahead again two minutes into additional time and Neeskens Kebano added a third goal nearly immediately.

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