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Arab teams in the World Cup For the first time in history

13 November 2017
Arab teams in the World Cup For the first time in history

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.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Tunisia played out a tense goalless draw with Libya to edge Congo DR to top spot by just one point.

Morocco's victory over the West African giants means three countries from North Africa made it to Russian Federation with Egypt and Tunisia having qualified already.

Unlike Morocco, who missed out on four previous World Cup tournaments (Japan-Korea 2002, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014), Cote d'Ivoire has qualified for the three previous World Cups.

West Africa has dominated Africa's contingent at the World Cup in recent years but some of its big names missed out this time: Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana, all African champions multiple times, won't be in Russian Federation.

Nabil Dirar scored the opener in the 25th minute with an inswinging cross that went untouched through the box and entered the net.

Marc Wilmots' Ivory Coast needed a win at home to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup, but two errors by goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo put chances of victory out of reach in the first half.

The hosts poured men forward for most of the rest of the match, but Morocco generally looked in control of things at the back and held on comfortably, giving Herve Renard - the coach who ended Ivory Coast's Africa Cup of Nations drought in 2015 - a famous victory against his former team.

Morocco maintained their record of not conceding a single goal in the six games in CAF qualifying Group C. Gabon and Mali drew 0-0 in the other final Group C encounter.

Had Tunisia lost, they would have ceded top place to DR Congo, who finished strongly to overcome Guinea 3-1.