FIFA World Cup: Morocco made a big upset, defeating Spain in the penalty shootout for the first time in the quarter-finals of the World Cup

Morocco produced a major upset in the quarter-finals of the football World Cup on Tuesday, beating 2010 champions Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout to seal a place in the last eight. This is Morocco’s best performance in World Cup history. The team had earlier traveled till the pre-quarterfinals in 1986. After the match ended goalless in regular and then extra time, Moroccan goalkeeper Yassin Bono made a brilliant save in the penalty shootout, showing great concentration.

In the shootout, Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Ashraf Hakimi scored for Morocco, while Badr Benoun missed. Spain’s Pablo Sarabia’s penalty hit the post, while kicks by Carlos Soler and captain Sergio Busquets were brilliantly saved by Moroccan goalkeeper Bono. Hakimi scored the decisive goal of the match at the Education City Stadium, giving a chance to the Moroccan fans present in the stadium, who were much more in number than the Spanish fans. The players of the team then expressed their happiness by tossing the goalkeeper Bono in the air.

In the last eight, Morocco will face the winner of the day’s second pre-quarterfinal match between Portugal and Switzerland. Morocco is the only team from outside Europe or South America to make it to the quarter-finals. This was the fourth meeting between the two teams and the Moroccan team has been successful in defeating Spain for the first time. Earlier, out of three matches, Spain won two while one was a draw. For the second time in a row, the Spanish team has been eliminated in the pre-quarter-finals of the World Cup after losing in the penalty shootout.

Last time (2018) he was defeated by the host Russia. It was the fifth consecutive time in a major tournament that Spain did not win a match played in extra time in the knockout round. Spain, adorned with young players, were relying on short passes in their familiar style, but Morocco did not let their plan succeed with better tactics. In the opening minute of the match, Spain focused on possession of the ball and in the fourth minute, Pedri Xavi was given a pass but he could not control it.

Jordi Alba then once again took the ball into the Moroccan half but could not find a teammate to pass it to. Morocco, who beat Belgium in the group stage, had a chance to take the lead in the 12th minute but Hakimi could not find a powerful free-kick from outside the box. Nousari Mazrouei’s brilliant effort in the 33rd minute of the match for Morocco was thwarted by Spain goalkeeper Simeone. Ferran Torres created a great chance early in the second half. He passed to Llorente, but the Moroccan gained control of the ball. Aymeric Leporte was shown a yellow card in the 72nd minute of the match after clashing with Hakimi. In the 88th minute, Hakimi and Azzedine Unahi cooperated to create a goal, but Unahi could not control Hakimi’s sharp shot in the last minute.

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After the match went into extra time, Spain went on the offensive and created chances to score, but each attempt was thwarted by the Moroccans. In the 119th minute of the match, Sarabia was brought on by the Spanish coach while Nico Williams went off. In stoppage time of extra time, Spain squandered a golden chance to score as Sarabia delayed getting to the ball and his shot from a difficult angle hit the second post.

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