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Morocco beat Ivory Coast in Abijan to qualify for Russian Federation

13 November 2017

Morocco stunned Ivory Coast 2-0 to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while Tunisia also booked their ticket to Russian Federation on Saturday.

Among all the national teams that competed for the qualification to the World Cup in the different continental federations belonging to FIFA, Morocco has emerged as the team with the best defense in the world.

The Atlas Lions then doubled their lead just five minutes later through Captain Mehdi Benatia's neat finish off a corner, ensuring Herve Renard's men finished top of Group C and the only team in the overall qualifiers, which did not concede a single goal.

Morocco and Tunisia will join Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal as the African sides in Russian Federation next summer.

This is the fifth time Morocco qualified to the World Cup after Mexico 1970, Mexico 1986, United States 1994, and France 1998.

Belgium has a large Moroccan community, making up 4 per cent of the population. A vehicle was also burnt during the riot.

Riot police soon intervened and brought things under control, using a large water cannon to handle wild Moroccan fans that were reportedly hurling stones. Street signs and furniture were also destroyed or damaged. Police tweeted that some people threw objects at officers during the celebrations.

The violence was condemned by Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon who said: "Unacceptable aggression in the centre of Brussels".

The result took them up to 12 points, four clear of the Ivorians in second place, confirming their return to the World Cup for the first time since 1998, when they were eliminated in the group stage.

Morocco beat Ivory Coast in Abijan to qualify for Russian Federation