Morocco, on Tuesday, December 6, advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 after beating Spain 3-0 on penalties at Education City Stadium. It also happened to be the first time that Morocco qualified for the World Cup quarters.
Morocco had advanced to the Round of 16 of the mega event for the first time since 1986. But having not played the quarters, the odds were heavily stacked against them. However, the fact that they defeated Canada and world no.2 Morocco would have given them loads of confidence.
Although Spain maintained a staggering 75 percent ball possession, Morocco somehow didn’t allow them to score a goal. Despite dominating throughout the duration of 90 minutes and stoppage time, Spain failed to find a goal. Spain’s confidence looked a little down after their defeat to Japan.
The match went into extra time where, yet again, both teams failed to score a goal. In the end, just like the game between Croatia and Japan ended, Spain and Morocco’s fate depended on the penalty shootout. Spain got close to scoring on quite a few instances, but the rub of the green didn’t go their way.
Abdelhamid Sabiri opened the scoring for Morroco, after which Pablo Sarabia missed for Spain. It was also for the first time that the first penalty striker for Spain missed in a World Cup match shootout. Hakim Ziyech scored to take Morocco 2-0 up. Thereafter, Bono made a brilliant save and took Morocco close to a historic triumph.
Badr Benoun missed, but Achraf Hakimi’s goal took Morocco past the finish line. Spain failed to score even a single goal. Since their victory back in 2010, Spain have won three, drawn three and drew five. In the meantime, they have also lost 2 penalty shootouts.