Home Football Morocco beats Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarter finals

Morocco beats Spain on penalties to reach World Cup quarter finals

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Morocco knocked out Spain today on penalties to qualify for the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Atlas Lions scored three goals against Spain, who failed to score no goals against the Moroccan national teams.

Achraf Hakimi scored the decisive penalty to send Morocco into the last eight of a World Cup for the first time. Abdelhamid Sabiri and Hakim Ziyech scored the other two goals whilst Badr Benoun shot was saved.

Neither of the two teams were able to score during the main match nor the extra time due to expert defense tactics.

Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed their penalties for Spain, with Sarabia hitting the post and Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stopping the other two.

The final whistle marked celebrations in and outside Qatar, with over 38 million Moroccans celebrating the victory that will be certainly printed in the World Cup history.

Throughout the match, the Atlas Lios proved resilient against Spain’s ball possession and attempted strikes.

Morocco had a brilliant start using this World Cup after finishing the group stage unbeaten in its games with two of the “big teams” in world football.

Following a goalless draw with Croatia in its opening group match, Morocco went on to defeat Belgium (2-0) and Canada (2-1).

It has been 36 years since Morocco last qualified for the round of 16. The Atlas Lions’ qualification spread joy and happiness across Morocco, with Moroccans from all walks of life celebrating both the head coach and players.

Morocco has been the biggest surprise of the tournament and will next face either Portugal or Switzerland.

Morocco is also the only team from outside Europe or South America to make it to the last eight. The team made the round of 16 once before, at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Spain was eliminated by host Russia in a penalty shootout at the 2018 World Cup, and by Italy in the semifinals of last year’s European Championship.

It was the fifth straight time Spain played extra time in a knockout round of a major tournament. The team played 120 minutes against Russia and in all three of its knockout games at Euro 2020.

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