Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Defenders book Morocco's place at World Cup

Defenders book Morocco's place at World Cup

Benatia blasted in from a corner during the 2-0 victory away to the Ivory Coast.

Tunisia and Morocco completed CAF's line up at the FIFA World Cup™, securing the last of Africa's berths at Russian Federation 2018.

But it proved to be enough and, after missing out in 2010 and 2014, Tunisia will be at the World Cup for a fifth time. Tunisia qualified for the World Cup after winning the group with 14 points.

Nabil Dirar eventually opened the scoring for the Lions of the Atlas on 25 minutes with a long range effort that found the bottom corner, 0-1.

The qualification of Morocco and Tunisia signaled an apparent shift in African soccer, giving North Africa three teams at the World Cup and more than any other region for the first time since 1986.

Morocco ran down the clock with tactical substitutions in the closing minutes as Renard master-minded the downfall of his former employers, who he helped win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

At the end of Saturday's match between the national football team and his Cote d'Ivoire counterpart, King Mohammed VI has warmly congratulated the members of the national team on their qualification for the 2018 World Cup. The failure to reach the World Cup after being ever-present since 2006 will put pressure on coach Marc Wilmots. The Tunisians held on for the draw, though, and it turned out to be a precious point.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Tunisia played out a tense goalless draw with Libya to edge Congo DR to top spot by just one point.

Serge Aurier had the best chance to score for Ivory Coast in the second half, but he skied his shot over the bar, and Morocco maintained their record of not conceding a single goal in the six games in CAF qualifying Group C.

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