Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

Herve Renard's side have now booked their spot in the World Cup for the first time since 1998.

Morocco qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with a 2-0 victory away to Ivory Coast, who missed out on a fourth consecutive appearance at the finals.

Today is a historic day in Morocco, as Moroccans have to wait for 19 years to see national team reach the final stage of the World Cup.

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 needed only a draw from their final Group C game to finish top of the standings in the African preliminaries, ahead of the Ivorians, who had to win to clinch a fourth successive World Cup finals appearance.

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Morocco's right back Nabil Dirar scored the first goal for the Atlas Lions at the 24 minutes, giving Morocco a comfortable lead over Cote d'Ivoire.

Rattled Ivory Coast fell further behind as they failed to cut off a corner and Juventus defender Benatia struck a first-time shot into the net.

Tunisia also booked their spot at Russian Federation 2018 with a tense 0-0 draw against Libya. The Tunisians held on for the draw, though, and it turned out to be a precious point.

Tunisia's point ensures their fifth World Cup participation - and their first since 2006 - but ensures that the Democratic Republic of Congo's wait to return to the global showpiece for the first time since 1974 will continue. Had Tunisia lost, the two teams would have finished level on points and goal difference and Congo would have taken the World Cup place for scoring more goals in the qualifying campaign.

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