Morocco qualifies for World Cup, Ivory Coast misses out

Morocco fans celebrate their succes

Morocco needed only a draw from their final Group C game to finish top of the standings in the African preliminaries, ahead of the Ivorians, who had to win to clinch a fourth successive World Cup finals appearance.

Euphoria took over the streets of Moroccan cities as the Atlas Lions secured a well-deserved qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation following a 2-0 victory in an epic battle against Côte d'Ivoire in Abidjan.

For the first time in history, four Arab teams have qualified for the World Cup for the 2018 edition, which will be held in Russian Federation.

Other nations which also qualified for the last two editions but have been humbled are Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria and Cameroon.

Morocco is back in the spotlight of world soccer following the qualification of the country's national team to the 2018 World Cup, scheduled to take place next summer in Russian Federation.

The Eagles of Carthage headed into their final fixture knowing that they would definitely reach the World Cup if they avoided defeat, but were frustrated by their neighbours.

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The two goals were scored in the first half through Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia.

Rattled Ivory Coast fell further behind as they failed to cut off a corner and Juventus defender Benatia struck a first-time shot into the net.

Ivory Coast was already in decline after being eliminated by Renard and Morocco in the group stage of this year's African Cup, where the Ivorians were defending champions.

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

Ibenge's side will look back at their double header against the Tunisians, when they enjoyed the better of both contests but only took one point out of a possible six, as the reason why they will be watching on from the outside next summer.

Meanwhile, Tunisia 's goalless draw against Libya proved enough to seal their World Cup spot from Group A.

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