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    Morocco defeat Spain in penalty shootout to reach historic quarterfinals

    Football   |   December 7, 2022

    Africa finally have a representative in the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after Morocco defeated Spain via penalties in the round of 16.

    This is the first time Morocco will be reaching the quarterfinals. The Arab country have now become the fourth African team to reach that stage after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.

    The next hurdle in front of them is either Portugal or Switzerland, which they will know tonight.

    After 120 minutes of regular action that Spain had most of the possession; Spain lost their first three spot kicks while Morocco converted three out of four.

    The first taker of the spot kick for Morroco, Abdelhamid Sabiri, rolled the ball into the bottom corner to take the pressure to Spain.

    Pablo Sarabia, who was brought on for the shootout, missed as his shot hit the foot of the post.

    Hakim Ziyech put it down the middle to give Morroco a two-goal advantage.

    When it was the turn of Carlos Soler, Bono saved low to his left to stop the ball from going in.

    Badr Benoun’s spot kick was guessed right by Unai Simon, who dived to his right, giving Spain a chance to come back into the game.

    But Spain failed to take advantage of the opportunity as Sergio Busquets knocked a lame effort low to Bono’s right.

    This allowed Morroco to win the game, and PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi, born in  Spain, dumped the country of his birth out of the tournament as he clipped in a Panenka penalty to set a new record for Morroco.

    The African team won during that penalty shootout for their fight, spirit, and guts.

    This is a historical moment that they will cherish forever. The party had already begun from the field as they appreciated their fans for standing by them throughout the game.

    Spain were among the favourites before the tournament began. They have now followed Belgium and Germany out of the tournament.

    Written by OLADIPUPO MOJEED 

     

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