Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Morocco's World Cup qualifier win marred by Brussels violence

Morocco's World Cup qualifier win marred by Brussels violence

Morocco sealed its place by winning in Ivory Coast 2-0 in what was a straight shootout for the place from Group C. The Atlas Lions return to the tournament for the first time since 1998.

While the U.S. can only look on with envy next summer having dismally failed to qualify from the simplest of qualifying regions, Morocco's 2-0 away win over powerful Ivory Coast booked a return to the finals for the first time in 20 years.

Ivory Coast, who never looked like recovering from the first-half blows, came second with eight points followed by Gabon with six and Mali with four. Only group winners qualified for the Finals.

Translation: Arab-flavored World Cup "Egypt-Saudi Arabia-Morocco-Tunisia" congratulations to us all.

Riot police were sent out to control a crowd of about 300 people after the final whistle, at one point firing water canon at small groups of stone-throwing revellers.

Police have launched an investigation as a spokesman admitted they were taken by surprise how quickly the situation escalated and shops were looted.

Tunisia also booked their place in next year's finals after securing a point from a goalless draw at home to neighbours Libya on Saturday. Senegal had earlier sealed their place in Russian Federation on Friday by winning 2-0 in South Africa.

Morocco ran down the clock with tactical substitutions in the closing minutes as Renard master-minded the downfall of his former employers, who he helped win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria and Senegal were the continent's two other qualifiers.

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