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Nigeria, Ivory Coast qualify for WCup

Nigeria and Ivory Coast have qualified for the World Cup.

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The Nigerians became the first African team to qualify for next year's showcase, beating Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff Saturday. Nigeria, playing at home Calabar, won 4-1 on total goals.

Ivory Coast played to a tense 1-1 draw with Senegal for a 4-2 total-goals victory in neutral Casablanca, Morocco. Ivory Coast won the first leg 3-1. It made its World Cup debut in 2006 and will be going to the tournament for the third straight time.

Five teams will represent Africa in Brazil, with three remaining playoffs.

Cameroon and Tunisia are even after a 0-0 draw in Tunisia while Burkina Faso leads Algeria 3-2 entering second-leg games Sunday. Burkina Faso has never been to the World Cup. Egypt hosts Ghana on Tuesday and needs a major upset to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990. Ghana won the first leg 6-1.

If Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana qualify, Africa will be represented by the same five teams that made it to South Africa's World Cup.

In Nigeria, Victor Moses made a 20th-minute penalty kick after an Ethiopian hand ball. Victor Obinna scored in the 82nd minute to send the African champion to Brazil. Nigeria has qualified for five of the last six World Cups.

''President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan heartily congratulates the Super Eagles of Nigeria,'' a statement from the Nigerian leader's office said.

Ethiopia had been trying to reach its first World Cup after emerging as the surprise team of the African qualifying campaign.

In Morocco, Salomon Kalou of Ivory Coast struck in the fourth minute of injury time to make sure Africa's top-ranked team advanced. With Senegal surging forward, Yaya Toure set up Kalou for the clinching goal. Moussa Sow of Senegal scored on a penalty kick in the 77th minute. Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba gave away the penalty that put Senegal on the verge of a major upset.

The game was played in Casablanca because of a stadium ban on Senegal after a riot in an African Cup qualifier between the teams last year.

It was also the first game for Senegal since the death of Bruno Metsu, the French coach who led the Senegalese to the quarterfinals at the 2002 World Cup. That was the nation's first and only appearance at the tournament.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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