Defenders book Morocco's place in World Cup finals

Herve Renard the coach of Morocco’s national football team

Both nations join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, as Africa's representatives at the global finals next year.

Tunisia will participate in their fifth World Cup, but first since qualifying four three consecutive tournaments from 1998-2006.

Tunisia claimed the other spot despite being held to a goalless draw at home by Libya in Group A of the African qualifiers.

For the first time in history, four Arab teams have qualified for the World Cup for the 2018 edition, which will be held in Russian Federation.

The Eagles of Carthage headed into their final fixture knowing that they would definitely reach the World Cup if they avoided defeat, but were frustrated by their neighbours.

However, after weathering an early storm, including a potential penalty call, Morocco scored two goals in the space of five minutes to put themselves on their way to the finals, where their last appearance was in France in 1998.

Celebrations in Brussels to mark Morocco's return to soccer's World Cup finals for the first time in two decades turned violent late on Saturday, when crowds clashed with police, setting cars on fire and injuring 22 police officers.

It was to prove a costly miss for the home side, who had to win after beginning the match one point behind a Moroccan team coached by former Ivorian handler, Frenchman Herve Renard.

However, it was the visitors, who sealed an emphatic win as Dirar grabbed the opener in the 25th minute with after his tricky cross beat Sylvain Gbohouo, in goal for the Ivoirians.

Cote d'Ivoire needed an outright win to qualify while a draw would still have been enough for Morocco.

Had Tunisia lost, they would have ceded top place to DR Congo, who finished strongly to overcome Guinea 3-1.

Related news: