Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

The Morocco national football team is qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation.

Morocco, who completed their qualifying campaign with maximum points and no goals conceded, last appeared in a World Cup in 1998 in France.

Ivory Coast, who never looked like recovering from the first-half blows, came second with eight points followed by Gabon with six and Mali with four.

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

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For Tunisia, the barren draw they recorded against Libya on Saturday was enough to get them another World Cup ticket after they narrowly missed out at the Brazil 2014 edition.

Tunisia's point ensures their fifth World Cup participation - and their first since 2006 - but ensures that the Democratic Republic of Congo's wait to return to the global showpiece for the first time since 1974 will continue.

Nabil Dirar scored the opener in the 25th minute with an inswinging cross that went untouched through the box and entered the net.

Belgian coach Marc Wilmots tried to revive the lacklustre Ivorians by introducing Ghislain Konan at half-time and Maxwel Cornet and veteran Salomon Kalou during the second half.

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Had Tunisia lost, they would have ceded top place to DR Congo, who finished strongly to overcome Guinea 3-1 at the Stade des Martyrs.

That result eliminated the Ivorians from the tournament in Russian Federation in 2018, while Tunisia also qualified at the expense of DR Congo.

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.

The Congolese fought back in the dying minutes bagging two more goals, one of them a penalty.

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