DOHA: Morocco knocks out Spain on penalty kicks and will play either Portugal or Switzerland for a place in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as Hakimi scored the decisive penalty to send Morocco into the last eight of a World Cup for the first time.
The game had ended goalless after 120 minutes of football. Spain and Morocco couldn’t be separated in 120 minutes, with the score remaining 0-0. In the penalty shootout, Yassine Bounou made 3 saves to earn his team a 3-0 win.
Morocco created the best out of only a few chances in the first half, including a close-range header by defender Aguerd which flew over while Asensio hit the side-netting for Spain who dominated possession but failed to show real threat. Opportunities in the second period were also limited.
Since Morocco’s game plan worked to perfection, they soaked up Spain’s pressure, had their chances to hit them on the break, and above all made sure they made it to the penalties where they did what they had to do and Spain very much didn’t. On the other hand Spain fail to score a single spot-kick and Morocco are into their first ever quarter-final.
Morocco won Group F, beat world number two Belgium, got into the last-16 for first time since 1986, and is now into the quarter-final for Morocco’s first ever time having knocked out Spain.
They are the first African team to win a penalty shootout at the World Cup, would you believe. and the first African side to reach the World Cup quarter-finals since 2010.
Morocco XI (4-3-3): Bono; Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui; Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah; Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal
Spain XI (4-3-3): Simon; M. Llorente, Rodri, Laporte, Alba; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Torres, Asensio, Olmo
(sources: fragments from theathletic/ndtvsports)