Morocco knock out Ivory Coast to break 20 year drought

by Eddie Scott November 12, 2017, 1:09
Morocco knock out Ivory Coast to break 20 year drought

Morocco qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation with a 2-0 victory away to Ivory Coast, who missed out on a fourth consecutive appearance at the finals.

Juventus defender Medhi Benatia was on target as Morocco qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1998.

Morocco sealed its place by winning in Ivory Coast 2-0 in what was a straight shootout for the place from Group C.

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Morocco and Tunisia qualified for the World Cup on Saturday, taking Africa's last two places.

The Ivorians continued to pressurise the visitors with 10 minutes to play but they lacked the sense of urgency for a team that needed three goals in the remaining minutes to qualify. Senegal qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2002 on Friday after defeating South Africa 2-0.

It was to prove a costly miss for the home side, who had to win after beginning the match one point behind a Moroccan team coached by former Ivorian handler, Frenchman Herve Renard. But it was the Moroccans who got the breakthrough when Nabil Dirar's cross evaded everyone and found its way it to the net.

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Dirar opened the scoring off a cross-turned-shot on 25 minutes and Benatia doubled the lead after a corner on the half-hour.

Morocco travelled to Abidjan leading Ivory Coast by a point in Group C and needing only a draw in the last matchday.

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

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The Tunisians secured a fifth appearance at the tournament by topping the table with 14 points, one more than the Democratic Republic of Congo. Scoring two goals, Morocco has secured a ticket to Russian Federation.


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