Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

Tunisia midfielder Wahibi Khaziri battles with Libya's Mohamed Al Ghanodi during their draw Tunisia midfielder Wahibi Khaziri battles with Libya's Mohamed Al Ghanodi during their draw
Kenny Thornton | 13 November, 2017, 19:03

Tunisia finished on 14 points in Group A of the African preliminaries, one ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

North African nations Morocco and Tunisia took contrasting routes on Saturday as they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

However, after weathering an early storm, including a potential penalty call, Morocco scored two goals in the space of five minutes to put themselves on their way to the finals, where their last appearance was in France in 1998.

Tunisia have qualified for the World Cup in Russian Federation next summer after a goalless draw against fellow North Africans Libya was enough to to land a coveted place at the festival of football.

However, it was the visitors, who sealed an emphatic win as Dirar grabbed the opener in the 25th minute with after his tricky cross beat Sylvain Gbohouo, in goal for the Ivoirians.

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Morocco will return to the World Cup for the first time since 1998. Unlike Morocco, who missed out on four previous World Cup tournaments (Japan-Korea 2002, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014), Cote d'Ivoire has qualified for the three previous World Cups.

Leaders Atlas Lions, managed by Herve Renard, who led the Ivoirians to the Africa Cup of Nations title two years ago, had nine points and needed just a draw to qualify for the Mundial, while second-place Elephants with eight points, needed a win.

While the Elephants will be left to rue a first World Cup qualifying failure since 2002, Morocco can now look forward to heading to Russian Federation as North Africa's third representatives alongside Tunisia and Egypt.

Group B: Zambia 2 (Daka 26, Mwila 64) drew with Cameroon 2 (Zambo Anguissa 31, Banana 90+1).

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