Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Morocco, Tunisia qualify for WCup

Published:Sunday | November 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP):

Morocco and Tunisia qualified for the World Cup yesterday, taking Africa's last two places.

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

Morocco sealed their place by winning Ivory Coast 2-0 in what was a straight shoot-out for the place from Group C.

Tunisia secured the draw they needed, 0-0 at home against Libya, to qualify from Group A and edge out Congo.

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

IVORY COAST OUT

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 Russia.

Morocco qualified for the first time since the 1998 World Cup.

Tunisia last played at the World Cup in 2006.

For Morocco, Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia scored in the space of five minutes in the first half in Abidjan to help send their team to their first World Cup in 20 years and deny Ivory Coast a fourth straight appearance.

Morocco's win in Abidjan gave coach Herve Renard success over his former team and the country he led to the African Cup title in 2015. Morocco needed just a point from the game to qualify but made sure.