Morocco knock out Ivory Coast to break 20 year drought

Morocco knock out Ivory Coast to break 20 year drought

Morocco knock out Ivory Coast to break 20 year drought

Needing only a draw to qualify for next year's Russian Federation finals, two first-half goals from Nibal Dirar and Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia ensured the Atlas Lions a World Cup spot.

Despite needing only a point to qualify, the Atlas Lions weren't prepared to sit on a slender lead and doubled their advantage five minutes later when former Bayern Munich center back Medhi Benatia turned in a left wing corner.

Unbeaten Tunisia, who have been to four previous World Cup finals and were the first African country to win a game at the finals in 1978, were denied a fifth win in six group matches as Libya's goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnush made a number of key saves.

They'll join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal as the continent's five representatives at next year's tournament in Russian Federation.

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

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

For Tunisia, the barren draw they recorded against Libya on Saturday was enough to get them another World Cup ticket after they narrowly missed out at the Brazil 2014 edition.

Nabil Dirar opened the scoring for the visitors with a delivery that bounced through the unorganised defence into the far corner of the net.

Tunisia emerged the leaders in Group A, surviving a resilient Libya that shared the spoils of the day with their hosts. Before today's matches, Tunisia had 13 points while DR Congo had 10 points.

Two goals in stoppage time - a Jonathan Bolingi penalty and a fine Neeskens Kebano strike - gave DR Congo the victory, but it proved not to matter as Tunisia held on for the draw in the other game to win the group by a single point.

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