Goalless draw enough to secure Tunisia World Cup berth


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In Mexico 1986, Morocco became the first African and Arab team to qualify to the second round of the World Cup after they came out as first in their group, which was comprised of England, Poland, and Portugal.

In the 1990 World Cup UAE and Egypt qualified, in the 1994 World Cup Saudi Arabia and Morocco participated and in the 1998 World Cup in Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia were there.

The Atlas Lions are returning to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years after they last made it in 1998.

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 last played at the World Cup in 2006.

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 beat Cote d'Ivoire 2-0 away in their final group game while Tunisia's 0-0 home draw against Libya was enough to seal their qualification.

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.

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.

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

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