FIFA World Cup 2022: Morocco defeats Spain 3-0 on penalties

Ar Rayyan, QATAR; Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou (1) controls the ball against Spain during extra time in the round of sixteen match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Education City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Morocco marched on to the World Cup quarter-finals, beating Spain in a penalty shootout after a goalless 120 minutes.

Spain is now surely experiencing déjà vu after losing yet another penalty shootout in the Round of 16.

In an attempt to beat Morocco with their typical “death by 1,000 passes” style of play, Spain attempted 1,043 passes, completed 952 passes and controlled 79% of the possession — with no goals to show for it.

Credit should go to the defensive work Morocco put into this game, as Walid Regragui's squad frustrated Spain for large stretches of both halves. Spain's first attempt at goal came in the 26th minute when Marco Asensio blasted a shot into the side netting. Outside of that, one of Spain’s only other big chances came in stoppage time in the second half when Dani Olmo whipped in a cross, coming inches away from finding Nico Williams and forcing GK Yassine Bounou into a great save to send it to extra time.

In the end, Bounou was the star of the penalty shootout. Morocco went on to win 3-0 on penalties, sending them to the quarter-finals.

Expected goals (xG): Spain 0.50, Morocco 0.39

Man of the Match: Yassine Bounou, Morocco

Scoreless games usually end with a goalkeeper being the hero, and this game is no different. Bounou had to make only one save over 120 minutes but was clutch for Morocco in the shootout, saving two of the three penalties he faced to lead his team to the quarter-finals for the first time in team history.

Best Passer: Pedri, Spain

Pedri was at his best against Morocco, continuing his strong play through the 2022 World Cup. He was the best passer in the match, completing 131 of his 146 passes (89.7%), three of his five through-ball pass attempts and 20 line-breaking passes.

Best Challenger: Rodri, Spain

Rodri did all he could for Spain playing out of position in this World Cup. He won 13 total challenges, including nine of his 13 aerial duels, his only 50/50 duel and three of his four tackle attempts.

Standout Performer: Achraf Hakimi, Morocco

The PSG man had another strong performance to continue his excellent form at the World Cup. He completed 83% of his passes, including four line-breaking passes. He also won all three of his aerial duels, one 50/50 duel, four tackles and he defended one dribble successfully.

To cap off his night, Hakimi hit a Panenka penalty to win the penalty shootout and send Morocco into the quarter-finals.

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