Defenders book Morocco's place at World Cup

Defenders book Morocco's place at World Cup

This is the first time in history that four Arab countries have reached the FIFA World Cup as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Tunisia.

North African nations Morocco and Tunisia took contrasting routes Saturday as they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

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

It will be Tunisia's first FIFA World Cup involvement since 2006 in Germany, and it joins Morocco, Egypt, Senegal and Nigeria as Africa's five representatives for Russian Federation 2018.

Morocco have remarkably qualified from Group C without conceding a single goal.

Gabon and Mali who also belonged in the group had ended their match all square.

The Atlas Lions then doubled their lead just five minutes later through captain Mehdi Benatia's neat finish off a corner, ensuring Herve Renard's men finished top of Group C.

Tunisia and Morocco on Saturday joined Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal on the FIFA World Cup train to Russian Federation next June.

Tunisia also booked their spot at Russian Federation 2018 with a tense 0-0 draw against Libya.

Two stoppage-time goals through Jonathan Bolingi and Neeskens Kebano, which sealed a 3-1 win against Guinea, was not enough for Florent Ibenge's side, who needed Libya to record a victory over the Eagles of Carthage on Saturday.

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 mintes later when Keita Karamokoba pounced on a loose ball and flicked it over DR Congo goalkeeper Ley Matampi.

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