Morocco and Tunisia book their tickets to Russian Federation

Sheri Evans
November 12, 2017

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.

Morocco will make their first appearance at the global finals since France 1998, while Tunisia make their World Cup return for the first time since Germany 2006.

Libya avoided last place in the group with the draw as they advanced to four points, with Guinea staying on three.

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 finished a point clear of DR Congo, who were seeking a first trip to the finals since 1974 when they played as Zaire, to achieve their own fifth World Cup qualification.

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Morocco and Tunisia will join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal as the African sides in Russian Federation next summer. Morocco needed just a point from the game to qualify but made sure.

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.

Tunisia dominated possession at the Stade Olympique, but unpredictable Libya defended resolutely, creating an increasingly tense atmosphere.

Jonathan Bolingi's penalty and a goal from Fulham's Neeskens Kebano, both in injury time, gave the Leopards all three points and left them hoping for a Libya victor, but Tunisia held firm to seal their ticket to Russian Federation.

Congo produced a late rally to secure victory with a penalty from Jonathan Bolingi in stoppage time before Fulham winger Neeskens Kebano netted a third, but it was all to be in vain as the final result filtered through from Rades.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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