FIFA World Cup 2022: Morocco Stun Spain by Defeating, Reach Quarterfinals

Morocco amazed Spain with a penalty shootout win to move the World Cup quarterfinals after playing to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday.

In the first half, Spain dominated possession but could not find a way past a resolute Morocco defence. The best chance of the half came when Morocco defender Nayef Aguerd headed over from close range.

The 2010 World Cup champions relished more than 75% of possession and finished off almost 800 passes but still were not able to find a breakthrough inside 90 minutes, moving the game to extra time. Morocco had the promising likelihood. Whebln the scores were still level, a penalty shootout was required.

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Spain had advanced to the World Cup finals’ sixth shootout, but it was Morocco’s first. Yassine Bounou, the Moroccan goalie, emerged as a hero after seeing Spain’s initial penalty shot strike the post and then save their following two attempts. Then, with a chance to win it, defender Achraf Hakimi stepped up and chipped his spot in an outstanding manner to secure a 3-0 victory in the shootout.

Spain was eliminated from the World Cup on penalties for the second time in a row, making it four times overall.

Jawad El Yamiq, a defender for Morocco, was pleased with how well his team played.

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Coach Regragui provided us the confidence we needed in this game, a great morale boost, he remarked. “We honoured the Arab and African football,” he said.

Without trying any shots, through balls, or other manoeuvres to dislodge their well-prepared opponents, the Spanish spent significant stretches of the game circling about the Moroccan penalty area.

Although they attempted to play the possession-based style of football that distinguished the great Spanish teams that won two European Championships and the World Cup between 2008 and 2012, they lacked a cutting edge, and Morocco gave them possession while attempting to take advantage of the pace of Hakim Ziyech and Soufiane Boufal.

After the latter was fouled, Hakimi sent a free kick over for the African team, which presented the first scoring opportunity.

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The only other opportunities in the tightly contested first half came when Spain midfielder Marco Asensio hit the side netting and defender Aguerd headed over.

Alvaro Morata and Nico Williams were sent in by head coach Enrique to give his squad some energy, and Morocco had to work really hard to make it through extra time without giving up.

They were successful in doing so, and Spain’s defeat in the shootout sparked raucous celebrations among the delighted Moroccan fans who will have at least one more opportunity to make their presence known in Qatar.

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