Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russian Federation 2018

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Tunisia, Morocco, reach Russia 2018

Morocco sealed its place by winning 2-0 in Cote d'Ivoire in what was a straight shootout for the place from Group C.

Nabil Dirar scored during the the first half time, Mehdi Benatia did the same minutes later.

Tunisia booked their place in next year's World Cup finals after securing a point from a goalless draw at home against their neighbors Libya.

As it stands, a total of 26 teams around the world have guaranteed their participation at next year's World Cup, as 6 teams from play-offs will complete the lineup by next week.

The qualification of Morocco and Tunisia signaled an apparent shift in African soccer, giving North Africa three teams at the World Cup and more than any other region for the first time since 1986.

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Tunisia also booked their spot at Russian Federation 2018 with a tense 0-0 draw against Libya.

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.

In Group A, DR Congo, on 10 points, were still in with a chance to catch leaders Tunisians on 13 points, but despite a late 3-1 win over Guinea, it was too little too late. Had Tunisia lost, the two teams would have finished level on points and goal difference and Congo would have taken the World Cup place for scoring more goals in the qualifying campaign.

Nigeria were the first African nation to book a place in Russian Federation after last month's 1-0 win over Zambia in Uyo with Egypt and Senegal, who beat South Africa 2-0 in a replayed game in Polokwane on Friday, having also qualified.

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