World Cup: Morocco beats Spain on penalties and goes to the quarterfinals – 12/06/2022 – Sport

Spain, who were excited to debut with a 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica, are out of the World Cup in Qatar.

The 2010 world champion, considered one of the favorites for the title, lost to Morocco at the Cidade da Educação stadium, stopping at the same stage of the 2018 World Cup, in Russia.

With the 3-0 triumph in the penalty shoot-out, after 0-0 in normal time and in extra time, the Moroccan underdogs made history.

The best result of the selection in North Africa in a World Cup had been in Mexico, in 1986, the round of 16, when it lost to Germany by 1-0.

Now, in its fifth participation in Cups, it is in the quarterfinals. The opponent on Saturday (10) for a place in the semifinals, at 12h (Brasília time), will be Portugal, who thrashed Switzerland by 6 to 1.

Morocco also became the first Arab team to reach the second knockout stage of a World Cup, and precisely in the first edition (out of a total of 22) hosted by an Arab country.

In Brazil, in 2014, Algeria reached the round of 16, losing to Germany in extra time (2-1). In the USA, in 1994, Saudi Arabia reached the same stage, being defeated by Sweden by 3 to 1.

The Moroccan classification also served to prevent the Qatar Cup from continuing only with teams from Europe and South America.

The other representatives of other continents who had passed to the round of 16 (USA, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Senegal) succumbed to the favorites.

The first half of the game this Tuesday (6th) in Al Rayyan was almost drowsy.

Even with 70% possession, Spain created almost nothing. The team coached by Luis Enrique took a single shot –Asensio, outside– at the goal defended by Bono, as goalkeeper Yassime Bounou is called.

Morocco, in three attempts in the first 45 minutes (plus one extra time), hit Unai Simón’s goal at least once: left-back Mazraoui, reinstated to the national team before the World Cup, took a risk from outside the area and the number 23 defended.

In the second stage, the panorama changed little. Spain had the ball most of the time, but did not know how to overcome the Moroccan defense, which placed the ten outfield players in the defense field.

Morocco, for its part, felt the physical part and didn’t have the strength to counterattack. Coach Walid Regragui used the five substitutions he was entitled to try to reinvigorate the team, without much success.

Already in the additions, close to 50min, the Spaniards almost scored in a dead ball, with Olmo, but Bono saved.

No goals. Extension.

In which the scenario of almost the entire match, especially in the second half, was repeated, attack (from Spain) against defense (from Morocco).

Luis Enrique changed the team, who played in the reserve uniform (light blue shirt), forming the attack with Morata, Nico Williams (who had come on during the second half) and Ansu Fati. No effect.

In the second half of extra time, Sarabia entered Spain, who in the last shot hit, grazed, the post. It was the best opportunity of the game.

No goals. Penalty shootout.

Then, as had happened on Monday (5), when Croatia eliminated Japan, a goalkeeper shone in the maximum penalties.

Bono, 31, who plays in Spanish football (Sevilla), saved the shots from Soler and Busquets – Sarabia repeated what she had done at the end of extra time and sent the ball into the crossbar.

Only one Moroccan player (Benoun) missed his kick. They hit Sabiri, Ziyech and Hakimi, who, born in Spain (Madrid), sealed the classification of the Africans.

You know: penalties are a matter of a little intuition and a little luck

Bono, the Moroccan hero, was a bit incredulous with the result: “As time goes by, we’ll see what we’ve achieved.”

Coach Walid Regragu, a Moroccan born in France, praised his number 1 shirt: “We have one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and that gave us the chance to qualify”.

What my players have done is something extraordinary. They [espanhóis] they were aggressive, they made us run. We spare no energy or effort and show that we can go as far as possible. [na Copa]

Busquets, the Spanish captain, considered that Morocco made the match very difficult by defending itself all the time. In the end, said the midfielder, his country left the World Cup “in the most cruel way”, in reference to penalties.

At the 2018 World Cup, the elimination had also been in the dispute of maximum penalties, 4 to 3 for Russia.

“The players followed my instructions 100%, or 99% because the plan was also to score [gols]”, declared coach Luis Enrique, who exempted his athletes from responsibility for the fall. “But that’s it, it’s over, there’s no point in beating yourself up.”

The result stretches the excellent campaign of the North African team in this Cup.

Morocco remains undefeated after, in the group stage, they drew with Croatia (0-0) and defeated favorites Belgium (2-0) and Canada (2-1).

Interestingly, the only goal conceded by the Moroccans was not made by a player from the opposing team. Defender Aguerd scored against the Canadians’ goal.

The Spanish departure brought the number of world champions eliminated on Qatari soil to three. Germany and Uruguay didn’t make it past the first round – Italy didn’t even qualify.

Brazil (five-time champion), Argentina (two-time champion), France (two-time champion) and England (once champion) are still looking for the FIFA Cup, which will be lifted on the 18th at the Lusail stadium.

With information from AFP

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