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Morocco qualifies for World Cup, Ivory Coast misses out

Morocco qualifies for World Cup, Ivory Coast misses out

Translation: Arab-flavored World Cup "Egypt-Saudi Arabia-Morocco-Tunisia" congratulations to us all.

All spaces for African nations at the 2018 FIFA World Cup are now filled following the qualification of Morocco and Tunisia on Saturday.

This is the fifth time Morocco qualified to the World Cup after Mexico 1970, Mexico 1986, United States 1994, and France 1998. If it qualified for the Russia World Cup, this would have been its fourth consecutive participation in FIFA's flagship tournament.

Euphoria took over the streets of Moroccan cities as the Atlas Lions secured a well-deserved qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation following a 2-0 victory in an epic battle against Côte d'Ivoire in Abidjan.

The more industrious Moroccans caused more problems for their hosts five minutes later when Benatia slotted home Mbark Boussoufa's corner into the next to send the home fans into anguish, as the Lions sealed a first World Cup ticket since 1998. While it scored eleven goals in six games, the national team did not concede a single goal.

Ivory Coast was already in decline after being eliminated by Renard and Morocco in the group stage of this year's African Cup, where the Ivorians were defending champions. The Tunisians held on for the draw, though, and it turned out to be a precious point.

Morocco beat Cote d'Ivoire 2-0 away in their final group game while Tunisia's 0-0 home draw against Libya was enough to seal their qualification.

Tunisia finished with 14 points in Group A of the African preliminaries, one ahead of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who fell short despite a 3-1 win over Guinea in Kinshasa.

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