Canada Global (Web News) After a cagey last-16 match between Spain and Morocco ended scoreless on Tuesday, Achraf Hakimi calmly converted a penalty to put Morocco through to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time with a 3-0 shootout victory over the former champions.
After Pablo Sarabia struck the post, Yassine Bounou of Morocco stopped Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets’ penalty kicks, and Spanish-born Hakimi maintained his composure to secure his team a quarterfinal matchup against either Portugal or Switzerland.
Twelve years after Ghana accomplished so in South Africa, Morocco became just the fourth African country to advance to the tournament’s final eight.
After a tough game that ended in extra time with no goals and few chances on goal, Morocco benefited from the boisterous support of their red-clad fans in the shootout as Spain lost.
Spain had more than 75% of the ball and nearly 800 passes completed, but Morocco troubled them on the break, and goalkeeper Unai Simon made some excellent stops.