- BBC News World
In the first 0-0 of the round of 16 of Qatar 2022, Morocco emerged victorious against Spain, which sank in a penalty shootout, without managing to convert a single one.
From the 12 steps, the Moroccans converted 3 and missed one.
The penalties reflected what the game was like during the first half, when Spain had possession of the ball but Morocco created danger.
The first approach of the African team occurred after 12 minutes with a free kick executed by Achraf Hakimi that went over the crossbar.
Spain responded first with a shot from Ferran Torres -who was offside- and then with a shot from Marco Asensio.
However, the chances of converting plays into goals belonged to the North Africans.
A shot from Noussair Mazraoui forced goalkeeper Unai Simon to intervene in two stages and then a header from Nayef Aguerd kissed the left corner of the Spanish goal.
The two great spectacles of the first half were the ease with which Sofiane Boufal stopped the Spanish defense on the pitch, and the screams of the Moroccan fans in the stands.
“I’ve heard some loud fans so far in the tournament: Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico all created amazing atmospheres, but the first 30 minutes of the game from Morocco’s fans is the loudest I’ve heard so far, they’re about another level,” said BBC journalist Andy Cryer, present at the stadium.
two shots at the end
In the second half, Spain tried to disturb the Moroccan goalkeeper a little more and succeeded after a few minutes with a free kick from Dani Olmo that Bono had to clear.
But the big change was that of Morocco, which unlike the first half came little or nothing to the Spanish area.
When Boufal was replaced, all the football that had been born at his feet went with him.
Without taking risks in his own goal, the coach Luis Enrique put Álvaro Morata to break the Moroccan fence but the all-time scorer lost his chance and the game went to extra time.
In the first 15 minutes of extra time, the play of the game for Morocco took place, when Unai Simon saved a shot from point-blank range by Walid Cheddira.
Spain had their chance late on at the feet of Pablo Saravia but from a very difficult angle all the Spanish midfielder managed was to brush the post.
If the ball did not enter any of those two plays, it is because it was only going to enter the penalty shootout.
And in that round Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed the first three maximum penalties that the Spanish players threw. That made Morocco’s victory inevitable.
Morocco wins, celebrates the Arab world
Jose Carlos Cueto, corr.betrothal of BBC World in Qatar
Morocco’s historic victory over Spain is celebrated with force and emotion in Qatar.
In the days before the game, the hotel where the Moroccan team is staying in the West Bay district of Doha has been frequented by dozens of fans who sent their support to the players.
Among the fans there was the belief that something big could happen. Today they fulfill the dream of seeing their country in the quarterfinals for the first time in a World Cup.
“I am very happy. I just spoke with my mum and dad in Morocco and we are in shock with emotion. All the cities there will party and shout for this historic moment,” says Nassima, a Moroccan fan, still stuttering from the happiness and nerves after the penalty shootout.
Other fans can’t hold back the tears. They have never experienced anything like it.
Morocco’s goals have been unanimously shouted from this position in Doha Bay.
This victory means a lot to millions of Arabs, who are proudly experiencing the first World Cup held in an Arab country and who will now support the first of their teams to reach the top eight in the tournament.
Now just wait for glory. The story is already done.
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