Morocco drew a line under an encouraging 2018 with a 1-0 victory away in Tunisia on Tuesday evening.
Youssef En-Nesyri scored the only goal of the game in the 41st minute – the sixth strike of his international career – from close range after Medhi Benatia’s free kick bounced back off the post and into his path.
Tunisia started the better of the two teams in an ill-tempered affair on a poor pitch, although En-Nesyri had the better of the first-half chances.
The hosts pressed intensely as they sought a way back into the contest, but Morocco – easy in possession under Herve Renard – frustrated their opponents and looked the more likely to score after the break.
Tunisia missed a late chance to nab an equaliser after Munir Mohand misjudged a Moroccan cross, but the Atlas Lions held on for their first victory in Rades.
It was a worthy end to a fine 2018 for the North African giants, in which they won the African Nations Championship and won many admirers at the World Cup, even if they were eliminated in the group stage.
The Lions also secured Africa Cup of Nations qualification on Friday when they beat Cameroon 2-0 in Casablanca.