Morocco, Tunisia take different paths to World Cup

Morocco, Tunisia take different paths to World Cup

The result took them up to 12 points, four clear of the Ivorians in second place, confirming their return to the World Cup for the first time since 1998, when they were eliminated in the group stage.

Ex-Bayern Munich center-back Benatia then made the Ivorians' qualification mission more hard when he slotted a corner kick home at the far post to double his side's advantage.

Leaders Atlas Lions, managed by Herve Renard, who led the Ivoirians to the Africa Cup of Nations title two years ago, had nine points and needed just a draw to qualify for the Mundial, while second-place Elephants with eight points, needed a win.

Senegal qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2002 on Friday after defeating South Africa 2-0.

Tunisia will participate in their fifth World Cup, but first since qualifying four three consecutive tournaments from 1998-2006.

Goalless draw enough to secure Tunisia for 2018 World Cup
But the effort was in vain as they ended up with 13 points, one behind the leaders Tunisia who got 14 points. Nabil Dirar scored during the the first half time, Mehdi Benatia did the same minutes later.

Tunisia also qualified on Saturday after drawing 0-0 with Libya.

In the 25th minute, the stopper was beaten by Dirar's tame left-footed cross from the right flank, as the ball failed to meet the diving Khalid Boutaib, but still evaded Gbohouo before nestling in the far corner. Benatia scored with a first-time shot from a corner five minutes later to seal the victory.

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.

Before Saturday, the trio of Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal had booked their tickets before the two North African countries also came on board to Russian Federation.

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