BENIK Afobe's hopes of playing in next year's World Cup in Russia were dashed in his absence.

The 24-year-old striker was unable to report for international duty with DR Congo due to a muscle strain sustained in Cherries' defeat to Chelsea last month.

DR Congo had been aiming to snatch top spot in their qualifying group from Tunisia.

But despite a last-gasp 3-1 win over Guinea on Saturday, Afobe's compatriots failed to earn a spot in the finals.

Tunisia finished a point clear at the summit following a goal-less draw against Libya.