Morocco Stun Ivory Coast To Join Tunisia In Qualifying For World Cup

Arnold Nichols
November 13, 2017

Needing just a point at home to already-eliminated Libya to assure their progression, they labored to a goalless draw.

Goals from Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia handed Morocco a 2-0 away win over Ivory Coast, securing a return to the finals for the first time in two decades.

Tunisia guaranteed top spot in World Cup qualifying Group A and secured their ticket to Russian Federation despite being held 0-0 at home by Libya on Saturday.

Nigeria were the first African nation to book a place in Russian Federation after last month's 1-0 win over Zambia in Uyo with Egypt and Senegal, who beat South Africa 2-0 in a replayed game in Polokwane on Friday, having also qualified.


For the first time in history, four Arab teams have qualified for the World Cup for the 2018 edition, which will be held in Russian Federation. 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. Before today's matches, Morocco had 9 points while the Ivorians had 8 points; meaning the victor of the match would qualify.

With second-place Democratic Republic of Congo netting twice in stoppage time to defeat Guinea 3-1 in Kinshasa, only one point separated the top two. Tunisia qualified for the World Cup after winning the group with 14 points.

Guinea's Ousmane Sidibe headed into his own net while defending a set piece after the hour mark, but the visitors were able to equalise 10 minutes later when Keita Karamokoba pounced on a loose ball and flicked it over DR Congo goalkeeper Ley Matampi.

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