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Tunisia clinch World Cup spot after draw with Libya

13 November 2017

Morocco beat Ivory Coast, away by 2 goals to nil while Tunisia held Libya at home to a goalless draw.

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 threw everything into attacking in the closing stages to try and force a win in front of their home fans.

Gabon and Mali finished third and fourth in Group C and on six and four points respectively.

North African nations Morocco and Tunisia took contrasting routes as they qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

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Two stoppage-time goals through Jonathan Bolingi and Neeskens Kebano, which sealed a 3-1 win against Guinea, was not enough for Florent Ibenge's side, who needed Libya to record a victory over the Eagles of Carthage on Saturday.

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 nation, where the security situation is judged unsafe for visiting teams.

But after weathering an early storm, including a potential penalty call, Morocco scored two goals in the space of five minutes to put themselves on their way to the finals, where their last appearance was in France in 1998.

Despite needing only a point to qualify, the Atlas Lions weren't prepared to sit on a slender lead and doubled their advantage five minutes later when former Bayern Munich center back Medhi Benatia turned in a left wing corner.

Tunisia clinch World Cup spot after draw with Libya