Morocco book World Cup place for first time in two decades

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The list of all teams which will bear the African flag in Russian Federation next year comprises of: Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, and Egypt.

On Friday, Senegal qualified for their second World Cup since Korea/Japan 2002 following their 2-0 away win against South Africa in a replay of their Group D tie.

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

First half goals from Fenerbahçe right-back Nabil Dirar and Juventus centre-back Medhi Benatia helped Morocco beat Ivory Coast 2-0 on Saturday in a highly-temperamental Group C final World Cup qualifier in Abidjan and seal one of Africa's final two slots for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Tunisia players pose for a team photo.

Marc Wilmots' Ivory Coast needed a win at home to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup, but two errors by goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo put chances of victory out of reach in the first half.


The Atlas Lions just needed to avoid defeat in order to book their place in Russian Federation, but took all three points.

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

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.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Tunisia played out a tense goalless draw with Libya to edge Congo DR to top spot by just one point.

Tunisia survived some nervous moments in Rades as Libya finished strongly.

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