BREAKING Tunisia qualify for 2018 World Cup

BREAKING Tunisia qualify for 2018 World Cup

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

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.

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.

It is another achievement for Morocco's French coach Herve Renard, who famously won the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast in 2015.

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Morocco scored twice within five minutes through Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia during the opening half to triumph 2-0 in the Ivory Coast and win Group C.

Morocco returns to the world's biggest stage for the first time since 1998.

Tunisia's absence has not been as long but they will celebrate a first appearance in 12 years thanks to a goalless draw at home to Libya.

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

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The appearance in Russian Federation will be their fifth.

The win takes Congo up to 13 points, but Libya's failure to beat Tunisia means they end the campaign tantalisingly one point short of the North Africans.

DR Congo defeated Guinea 3-1 but that did not matter as Tunisia had secured a point. Gabon, who earlier drew 0-0 with Mali in Franceville, finished with seven and bottom-placed Mali five, BBC reports.

Group E finishes on Sunday with Egypt travelling to Ghana while Group D winners Senegal can celebrate with a dead rubber against South Africa on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT).

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