TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia booked their place in next year’s World Cup finals after securing a point from a goalless draw at home against neighbours Libya on Saturday.
Tunisia finished on 14 points in Group A of the African preliminaries, one ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who fell short despite a 3-1 win over Guinea in Kinshasa at the same time.
Unbeaten Tunisia, who have been to four previous World Cup finals and were the first African country to win a game at the finals in 1978, were denied a fifth win in six group matches as Libya’s goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnush made a number of key saves.
Diving saves kept Youssef Msakni, Anice Badri and Ghilane Chaalani from scoring as Nashnush proved a one-man roadblock.
Tunisia threw everything into attacking in the closing stages to try and force a win in front of their home fans.
Libya avoided last place in the group with the draw as they advanced to four points with Guinea staying on three.
Libya had been forced to play all of their home games at neutral venues, including Tunisia, because of a FIFA ban on internationals in the country, where the security situation is judged unsafe for visiting teams.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Pritha Sarkar