Benatia sends Morocco to World Cup

Benatia sends Morocco to World Cup

Benatia sends Morocco to World Cup

Both nations join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, as Africa's representatives at the global finals next year.

They'll join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal as the continent's five representatives at next year's tournament in Russian Federation.

The "Atlas Lions" are going back to the tournament for the first time since 1998 after finishing with 12 points, having not conceded a goal during the six-match group campaign.

Goals from defenders Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia handed Morocco a 2-0 away win over the Ivory Coast on Saturday in their last World Cup qualifier and booked a return to the finals for the first time in two decades.

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It will be Tunisia's first FIFA World Cup involvement since 2006 in Germany, and it joins Morocco, Egypt, Senegal and Nigeria as Africa's five representatives for Russian Federation 2018.

Libya had been forced to play all of their home games at neutral venues, including Tunisia, because of a Federation Internationale de Football Association ban on internationals in the country, where the security situation is judged unsafe for visiting teams. Morocco needed just a point from the game to qualify but made sure. Tunisia qualified for the World Cup after winning the group with 14 points.

Benatia scored with a first-time shot from a corner five minutes later to seal the victory. The failure to reach the World Cup after being ever-present since 2006 will put pressure on coach Marc Wilmots.

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. In case of qualifying to the World Cup in Russian Federation, each player will receive $ 100,000.

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