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gpolit.com November 21, 2017


Morocco and Tunisia qualify for Fifa World Cup finals in Russian Federation

12 November 2017, 01:10 | Ken Black

World Cup qualifying: Morocco knock out Ivory Coast to break 20 year drought

Peru's Paolo Guerrero celebrates after scoring against Colombia during their 2018 World Cup qualifier football match in Lima

In Group A, Tunisia will be making a return to the World Cup since Germany 2006 following a 0-0 home win against Libya in Rades also on Saturday.

Juventus defender Medhi Benatia was on target as Morocco qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1998.

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 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.

They topped the group on 12 points, four above the Ivorians.

Morocco and Tunisia now join Nigeria, Senegal and Egypt as Africa's representatives at next year's FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation. But it was the Moroccans who got the breakthrough when Nabil Dirar's cross evaded everyone and found its way it to the net.

The appearance in Russian Federation will be their fifth.

Gabon and Mali completed their campaigns with a goalless draw in the other group game.

Tunisia also booked their spot at Russian Federation 2018 with a tense 0-0 draw against Libya.

Florent Ibenge's side made hard work of the West Africans, and only opened the scoring in the 62nd minute when Ousmane Sidibe put the ball past his own goalkeeper.

Guinea promptly equalised through Keita Junior and though Jonathan Bolingi, with a penalty, and Neeskens Kebano scored in injury time to give DR Congo a 3-1 win, it was not enough as Tunisia held on.

Earlier Group B concluded with Zambia holding Cameroon to a 2-2 draw to finish second behind Nigeria, who drew at Algeria on Friday (Saturday NZT).



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