Asensio and Aguerd missed good chances for either side in the first half.Morocco were playing their first World Cup knock-out game since 1986.Sarabia hit the post in the last minute of extra time.
Morocco are the fourth African team to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.
— Sajjad Ahmed 🇲🇦🇵🇰 (@Sjadahmd07) December 6, 2022
Morocco made it to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup for the first time after holding their nerve in the penalty shoot-out while Spain lost theirs.
Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou played a pivotal role after a goalless 120 minutes, saving penalties from Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets after Pablo Sarabia had struck the post.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 6, 2022
Abdelhamid Sabiri and Hakim Ziyech scored theirs but Badr Benoun was thwarted by Unai Simon, meaning Morocco had to wait a moment longer to confirm their victory, finally celebrating when Achraf Hakimi sent the Spain ‘keeper the wrong way.
Spain have become the first nation in World Cup history to lose four penalty shootouts, while they’ve become just the second side to not score in one after Switzerland against Ukraine in 2006.
This will be Spain’s fifth World Cup penalty shootout, the joint-most of any nation (level with Argentina). They’ve lost three of their four so far, with no side ever losing more (England and Italy also 3).
It was a familiar story for Spain, who dominated possession but struggled to carve out many chances. In fact, they had only one effort in the first half, their lowest shot count in a World Cup match since 1966. It fell to Marco Asensio, who got in behind the defence but dragged his shot wide of the near post.
Morocco pressed Spain smartly and had three decent chances, the clearest being a free header for Nayef Aguerd which narrowly missed the target. The match remained tense and tight until the final few minutes of normal time, in which Bounou tipped away a skidding free-kick from Dani Olmo and Abde Ezzalzouli almost caught out Simon in possession.
A similar script followed in extra time when Morocco had two more glorious chances, both falling to Walid Cheddira. First the substitute failed to get his shot away and was dispossessed by Aymeric Laporte, then he did manage to fire at goal but was thwarted by Simon’s right leg.
Spain have exited their last three major competitions on penalties, losing to Russia at the 2018 World Cup and to Italy at UEFA EURO 2020.
Player of the match:Spain have exited their last three major competitions on penalties, losing to Russia at the 2018 World Cup and to Italy at UEFA EURO 2020.
18-year-old Gavi will become the youngest player to start a knockout game at the men’s World Cup since Pele in1958.
Player of the match:Yassine Bounou (Morocco).