News ID: 204211
Published: 0321 GMT November 12, 2017

Morocco, Tunisia make it to Russia

Morocco, Tunisia make it to Russia
Morocco players celebrate after their 2-0 victory over Ivory Coast in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on November 11, 2017, secured them a place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
GETTY IMAGES

Morocco and Tunisia both qualified for the 2018 World Cup after their respective games with Ivory Coast and Libya.

Tunisia booked ITS place in next year's World Cup finals after securing a point from a goalless draw at home against neighbor Libya on Saturday, Eurosport reported.

Tunisia finished on 14 points in Group A of the African preliminaries, one ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which fell short despite a 3-1 win over Guinea in Kinshasa at the same time.

Unbeaten Tunisia, which has been to four previous World Cup finals and was the first African country to win a game at the finals in 1978, was denied a fifth win in six group matches as Libya’s goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnush made a number of key saves.

Goals from defenders Nabil Dirar and Medhi Benatia handed Morocco a 2-0 away win over the Ivory Coast on Saturday in its last World Cup qualifier and booked a return to the finals for the first time in two decades.

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

But after weathering an early storm, including a potential penalty call, Morocco scored two goals in the space of five minutes to get on its way to the finals, in which the African side last appeared in 1998, in France.

Morocco completed the campaign without conceding a goal, finishing on 12 points, four ahead of the Ivorians. Gabon had seven and bottom-placed Mali five.

 

Chaos in Brussels

 

Celebrations in Brussels to mark Morocco’s return to soccer’s World Cup finals turned violent late on Saturday, when crowds clashed with police, setting cars on fire and injuring 22 police officers.

Images on social media showed overturned, burning cars and broken shop windows in Brussels city center as well as police trucks firing water cannons at crowds gathered in front of the city’s stock exchange, Reuters reported.

Brussels police said that of some 1,500 people had come to celebrate Morocco’s win over Ivory Coast, but that around 300 started to behave violently and attacked police officers and firemen called to put out burning cars and dust bins.

More than 100,000 people of Moroccan origin live in Brussels. Prosecutors said that by Sunday morning no arrests had been made, but Belgium’s interior minister vowed to hold those responsible to account, calling the events unacceptable.

“The fundamental problem is that such events are used as an excuse for reckless behavior and doing unacceptable things,” Interior Minister Jan Jambon told Belgium’s Radio 1.

“We have camera images – whoever did this will pay for this, there is no way around it,” Jambon added.

   
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