Ivory Coast manager Marc Wilmots has revealed that he was hoping to have Tiemoue Bakayoko starting in his midfield, but the Chelsea midfielder opted for France.
Morocco stunned Ivory Coast 2-0 to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while Tunisia also booked their ticket to Russian Federation on Saturday.
A mouth-watering clash lay in store in Abidjan, where Côte d'Ivoire hosted Morocco, with the victor booking a ticket to Russian Federation 2018.
Unbeaten Tunisia have been to four previous World Cup finals and were the first African country to win a game at the finals, in 1978.
The Moroccan Football Federation has put up unprecedented financial rewards for the players of the Moroccan national team.
For the record, the Atlas Lions team now managed by Hervé Renard, was qualified in the past to the World Cup in 1970, 1986, 1994, 1998.
Needing only a draw to qualify for next year's Russian Federation finals, two first-half goals from Nibal Dirar and Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia ensured the Atlas Lions a World Cup spot. Morocco needed just a point from the game to qualify but made sure.
Despite needing only a point to qualify, the Atlas Lions weren't prepared to sit on a slender lead and doubled their advantage five minutes later when former Bayern Munich center back Medhi Benatia turned in a left wing corner.
After weathering an early storm, including a potential penalty call, Morocco scored two goals in the space of five minutes.
Tunisia finished a point clear of DR Congo, who were seeking a first trip to the finals since 1974 when they played as Zaire, to achieve their own fifth World Cup qualification.
DR Congo, meanwhile, had needed Libya to pull off a shock win to give them hope of making it to Russian Federation, but were left disappointed despite a 3-1 win over Guinea in Kinshasa, scoring twice in stoppage time.