Group F toppers Morocco moved into the Round of 16 from a group that had the likes of Belgium and Croatia. The ultra-confident team faced Spain in their Round of 16 match. Let's see how the game panned out
Morocco vs Spain
Spain have been a possession-heavy team at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Against Morocco, they had more than 70% possession all throughout the game. Despite all that, however, they failed to put a single goal past Morocco in the 90 minutes.
Morocco stuck to their gameplan of sitting deep and hitting Spain on the counter all throughout the game. Although they had less than 30% possession in the first 90 minutes, they had the same number of shots on target (1).
Morocco's defensive masterclass and Spain's failure to cover chances put the game into extra time. The story in extra time however was still the same, as Morocco held the fort and even came close to scoring when Ounahi slips a ball through to Cheddira who failed to hit the back of the net.
With energy sucked out of them in Qatar heat, Morocco threw bodies on the line and foiled every attempt at goal from Spain. Despite all the huffing and puffing, the game moved into penalty shootout.
Morocco started first and looked assured in their shooting. Spain meanwhile failed to convert any of their first three penalties. As a result, Achraf Hakimi took the spot and converted his penalty with a beautiful Panenka to send Morocco through to the quarterfinal.
Here's the winning penalty from Hakimi:
UNBELIEVABLE PENALTY. ICE COLD HAKIMI REAL MADRID GENES. pic.twitter.com/qJOzi1eIuZ— WolfRMFC (@WolfRMFC) December 6, 2022
Spain meanwhile will have to board a plane back to Europe as their world cup campaign has ended. Morocco will now face the winner of Portugal vs Switzerland in their quarterfinal match.