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Qatar 2022: Morocco Beat Spain On Penalties To Reach Quarterfinal

Morocco defeated 2010 World Cup champion Spain 3-0 on penalties after a tense 123 minutes of play at the Education City Stadium in Qatar.

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Yassine Bounou, the goalie for Morocco, made three outstanding saves against the Spanish team’s three penalties.

For the first time ever, Morocco advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Following a scoreless draw, Morocco shocked Spain on Tuesday and advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time thanks to Achraf Hakimi’s winning penalty in a shootout, according to AFP.

The head coach of Spain, Luis Enrique, allegedly assigned his players 1,000 penalties each as “homework.”

However, Morocco won the shootout 3-0 to the joy of their boisterous crowd thanks to Hakimi, a Madrid native, who dinked the ball home after Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler, and Sergio Busquets all failed from the penalty spot.

In uncharted territory for them, Walid Regragui’s team will take on Portugal or Switzerland. Their best World Cup performance prior to that was a last-sixteen exit in 1986.

Spain had high hopes of repeating their World Cup victory from 2010, but after making it to the semifinals of Euro 2020, where they were also defeated by Italy on penalties.

Yassine Bounou, the goalie for Sevilla, had other ideas and brilliantly stopped Soler and Busquets, while Sarabia hit the post from the penalty spot.

“The penalties cost us, but I am proud of my team,” said Luis Enrique.

“I take all the responsibility because I chose the first three takers, and the players decided the rest — we didn’t get to the fourth.

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“Bounou is a great goalkeeper when it comes to penalties and today he was superb,” AFP quoted him.

Despite Spain having more of the ball and Morocco having fewer opportunities, the teams were evenly matched throughout the tense game.
After the team’s shocking loss to Japan, Luis Enrique tried out Marcos Llorente, his third right-back of the competition, and replaced Alvaro Morata on the bench with Marco Asensio.
Morocco’s supporters whistled angrily whenever their team lost possession of the ball as Spain dominated possession.

Morocco, the final remaining African and Arab team in the first World Cup ever held in an Arab nation, received a lot more support than Spain did.Despite Spain having more of the ball and Morocco having fewer opportunities, the teams were evenly matched throughout the tense game.

After the team’s shocking loss to Japan, Luis Enrique tried out Marcos Llorente, his third right-back of the competition, and replaced Alvaro Morata on the bench with Marco Asensio.

Morocco’s supporters whistled angrily whenever their team lost possession of the ball as Spain dominated possession.

Morocco, the final remaining African and Arab team in the first World Cup ever held in an Arab nation, received a lot more support than Spain did.

They resembled the away team in a hostile environment since La Roja was playing in a light blue second uniform.

Gavi performed admirably, becoming, at the age of 18 years and 123 days, the youngest player to begin a World Cup knockout game since Brazilian legend Pele in 1958.

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Unai Simon stopped Noussair Mazraoui’s long-range attempt as Regragui’s team dug deep defensively, frustrating Spain, and threatened on the break.

The greatest opportunity of the half fell to Nayef Aguerd, whose header narrowly missed the target after Sofiane Boufal easily avoided Llorente early on.

After the break, the intensity increased, as Bounou pounded away a Dani Olmo angle shot.

For Soler, Luis Enrique pulled the stubborn and soiled Gavi.

He also added Morata, giving Spain a focal point in attack, but they found it difficult to supply him as Morocco sat down further.

Olmo’s free-kick was expertly saved by Bounou as Spain finally had clear chances just before extra time.

In extra time, Morocco regained their footing and tested Simon, who produced a fantastic leg save to stop Walid Cheddira after he penetrated Spain’s left wing.

Spain applied pressure in the last seconds before penalties, but they were unable to produce a victor.

Sarabia was brought on for the shootout after Abdelhamid Sabiri had given Morocco the lead, and he missed Spain’s first penalty.

Bounou stopped Soler and Busquets, Hakim Ziyech scored, Simon stopped Badr Benoun, and Hakimi converted a Panenka penalty against his birth country to start a riotous celebration.

“We’re devastated because we wanted more, we had the team to do it, but are proud of what we have done,” said Llorente.

“It happened to us in the Euros, and today it happened to us again.”

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