Morocco is the only team outside of Europe or South America to make it to the round of eight.
AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Morocco became the first Arab nation and fourth African nation to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Cup, beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday.
Achraf Hakimi, who was born in Madrid and played for Real Madrid, successfully scored the decisive penalty in the penalty shootout. Abdelhamid Sabiri and Hakim Ziyech, who returned to the national team after a dispute with their previous coach, also scored for Morocco.
Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed a penalty for Spain, as Sarabia hit the post and Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou saved the other two.
The two teams drew 0-0 in regular time and extra time.
Sarabia entered the game in the final minutes of extra time, seemingly for a shootout. He replaced Nico Williams, who also came on as a substitute earlier in the game.
Spain goalkeeper Unai Simón saves a penalty from Badr Banoun. Simón’s partner, Bounou, plays for Spanish club Sevilla.
Morocco is the biggest surprise of the tournament and will next face Portugal or Switzerland.
Morocco is also the only team outside of Europe or South America to make it to the round of eight. The team had reached the round of 16 before, at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Spain were eliminated by hosts Russia in a penalty shootout at the 2018 World Cup, and by Italy in last year’s European Championship semi-finals.
“We weren’t able to score… so no matter how much we say we deserved to win thanks to the chances we created and for playing more in their area, it’s okay. That doesn’t change a thing,” said Simón. “The only thing left for us is to accept that we have been eliminated.”
This is the fifth time in a row Spain has played extra time in the knockout stages of a major tournament. The team played 120 minutes against Russia and in all three knockout matches at Euro 2020.
Morocco and Spain are close neighbors with complicated geopolitical relationships.
Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana are the only African nations to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup. None of the three advanced to the semi-finals.
The Moroccan fans were significantly outnumbered – and noisier – than the Spaniards at the Education City Stadium.
Neither team was able to create many significant scoring opportunities. Morocco seemed content to keep Spain in possession and sought to threaten counter-attacks
Both teams had a couple of chances in extra time, with Spain scoring the closest with Sarabia’s last effort wide of the post.
This is the second match in the round of 16 that has to go into extra time at this year’s World Cup. Croatia beat Japan on penalties on Monday.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/morocco-beats-spain-to-advance-at-world-cup/507-7845021e-51ad-4721-9a32-fc8f76b57e89 Who won Morocco vs. Spain: World Cup