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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Morocco reach World Cup for first time in 20 years after 2-0 win at Ivory Coast

Ahram Online , Saturday 11 Nov 2017
Morocco
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Morocco managed to make it to the World Cup finals for the first time in 20 years following an emphatic 2-0 victory over Ivory Coast in Abidjan on Saturday.

Needing only a draw to qualify for next year's Russia finals, two first-half goals from Nibal Dirar and Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia ensured the Atlas Lions a World Cup spot.

Dirar gave his side the lead in the 25th minute when a cross-cum-shot from the Fenerbahçe winger eluded Ivory Coast keeper Sylvain Gbohouo.

Ex-Bayern Munich center-back Benatia then made the Ivorians' qualification mission more difficult when he slotted a corner kick home at the far post to double his side's advantage.

A historic World Cup group-stage qualification campaign saw Morocco, who last appeared in the World Cup in 1998, score a total of 11 goals while conceding nothing to finish on top of the group with 12 points.

Ivory Coast, meanwhile, failed to qualify for the quadrennial tournament after making it to the competition's finals for three times in a row in 2006, 2010 and 2014.      

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

 
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