Morocco advanced to the 2022 FIFA World Cup quarterfinals after shutting out Spain for 120 minutes and winning the penalty shootout 3-0 due to Yassine Bounou.
Morocco stays unblemished in a historic campaign for the Atlas Lions, who made their first World Cup quarter-final, sending millions of Moroccan fans home into dreamland.
Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who plays for Sevilla in Spain, made key stops in the tiebreaker. Spain has lost four of five World Cup penalty shootouts. The only bad team.
The Africans’ 4-3-3 formation was obstinate, making it difficult for the Spanish to score.
Pedri, Gavi, Torres, and Olmo passed, squared, and overtopped. Sofyan Amrabat, Romain Saiss, and co. resisted.
Bounou saved Spain’s 13th-minute shot after misplacing a pass.
Left-back Jordi Alba put Marco Asensio through, but he fired wide. Sofiane Boufal and Hakim Ziyech helped Morocco create chances. Boufal once tricked Marcos Llorente.
Morocco’s finest chances came from Mazaroui and Naef Aguerd before halftime.
Spain had a lot of the ball but few chances, while Morocco held on to their mid-block with finesse. Olmo’s 54th-minute attempt tested Bounou.
Alvaro Morata headed over from a corner late for Spain. Simon saved Walid Cheddira’s shot. On another break, he spent too long with the ball.
Pablo Sarabia hit the far post with the penultimate kick of open play after being supplied on the right side of the area. Penalties followed.
Bounou became the star. First, Sarabia’s poor attempt was blocked by Bounou, who moved to his left. Ziyech’s penalty extended Morocco’s lead after Sabiri’s goal.
Bounou saved poor penalties from Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets. Achraf Hakimi scored Morocco’s failed penalty. Waled Regragoui’s team made history.
Here are the player ratings from the game.
Bounou commanded his box throughout open play despite not being tested much.
He sent his birth-nation home with his penalty and was a regular presence down the right wing. He kept Dani Olmo in check and ripped the flank on overlaps.
Nayef Aguerd- 6.5/10
The center-back was courageous in defence despite missing a first-half goal. His late challenge on Morata prevented a goal. Four clears.
The captain is another hero. Despite a hamstring injury in extra time, made 11 clearances and contained the Spanish forwards.
defensive and offensive threat Sticky with Ferran Torres on the right wing, made wonderful overlaps.
Selim Amallah 6/10
Midfielder made 88% of his passes and 2 interceptions.
Amrabat, the tournament’s best holding midfielder, had to contain Gavi and Pedri. He did well. Seven ground duels won, two tackles made.
Azzedine Ounahi 7/10
He fought 10 duels, winning 70% of them, and made four tackles.
The skilled winger worked hard, but often overhit his passes or made the wrong option. Saved the penalty.
Soufiane Boufal 6/10
64-minute stint included outstanding talents and offensive vigour. Was wasteful, completing 40% of his passes.
As a forward, he caused problems but had no shots.
Got into good situations while moving forward, converted his penalty.
Morocco may have won if he had taken one of his two late chances.
The winger had 75% pass accuracy.
After replacing Mazraoui, the tenacious left back started fighting.
Jawad El Yamiq-7
In 30 minutes, the centre back made an impact. Two blocks, five clearances.
Came on too late for a rating.
Couldn’t do much about the penalties, as they were well-taken, but made a few key saves in open play, despite his weak touch.
In his sole Cup start for Spain, the right back struggled. Boufal dodged his five duels. No attack.
Spain’s centre defender played well. Strong and aware.
Again excelled at centerback. Luis Enrique’s Spain played out of the back with 207 passes from Isco. 2 tackles, 1 interception.
The veteran showed great energy in overlapping while his team seemed disinterested. Defensively, they struggled.
12 minutes of work. Passed with 90% accuracy but couldn’t crack Morocco’s defence.
If his missed penalty marks the end of his national team career, it’s sad. Busquets showed his age when Morocco closed him down in possession.
Amrabat and co. controlled the promising midfielder. 17 of 20 passes were unremarkable. 63rd-minute sub.
Right wing ineffective. Took often dallied before making a decision.
Chances abound. Aensio’s misfire cost Spain. Shot wide from an excellent opening, made one critical pass in vain.
6.5/10 Dani Olmo
Perhaps Spain’s best attacker. Made 91% of his passes. Someone could have scored on his late free kik.
Alvaro Morata 5.5/10
The striker had three goals in three games. Tonight he flopped. He missed a good chance and overhit a pass while Spain was breaking.
Nico Williams 6/10
Somewhat successfully opened Moroccans. Overshot decent crosses. After entering in the second half, he was taken off.
Two of his passes were critical. His punishment was weak.
Ansu Fati 6/10
The wunderkind played well but couldn’t find magic.
Pablo Sarabia- 5.5/10
He wasted an excellent chance from a tight angle after being brought on late. His missed penalty sparked Spain’s downfall.
Alejandro Balde- 6/10
He played left back neatly and composedly, demonstrating his maturity.