Tunisia and Morocco on Saturday joined Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal on the FIFA World Cup train to Russia next June. Tunisia last featured in the World Cup in 2006 and Morocco in 1998.
Morocco qualified at the expense of Ivory Coast, beating the former African Champions 2-0 in Abidjan, to clinch a clear four point lead in Group C. Ivory Coast, playing out-of-sort ended up second in the group with eight points.
Both teams had entered the last game, with prospects that either of them could mathematically clinch the ticket.
Morocco needed just a draw, while Ivory Coast needed an outright win. But as it turned out, Morocco condemned the hosts to stay at home, with two goals in the first half by Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benati, scored within five minutes.
Gabon and Mali who also belonged in the group had ended their match all square.
Tunisia emerged the leaders in Group A, surviving a resilient Libya that shared the spoils of the day with their hosts. The match was played in Rades.
Congo DR had created a scare earlier on, when they led Guinea by 1-0, in Kinshasa, with an own goal by Ousmane Sidibe in the 62nd minute. Nine minutes after, Guinea’s Karamokoba Keita cancelled the goal.
The Congolese fought back in the dying minutes bagging two more goals, one of them a penalty. But the effort was in vain as they ended up with 13 points, one behind the leaders Tunisia who got 14 points. (NAN)