Morocco shocks Spain to enter World Cup quarterfinal round

Morocco upsets Spain to clinch a spot in the World Cup quarterfinals (

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

And just like that, the 2010 World Cup champions are out of the tournament.

In a game where the majority expected the veteran and star-studded squad to prevail over Morocco, the Atlas Lions proved everyone wrong and stunned Spain with a 3-0 penalty shootout win to book their ticket to the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals.

Morocco’s grit and will to win carried them until the penalty shootout where they outclassed Spain led by Achraf Hakimi who found the back of the net for the game-sealing goal.

Aside from Hakimi’s heroics, Morocco’s goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, also rose to the occasion after saving two penalty attempts from Spain.

Moments after Morocco’s win, hundreds of supporters were still in euphoria and continued their celebration in the streets of Msheireb, Doha’s downtown.

Groups of families, circles of friends, and different organizations blew horns, shouted with joy, and filled Msheireb with their loudest cheers to celebrate Morocco’s win.

It was a classic opening performance for Spain after gaining most of the ball possessions while executing their offensive set pieces.

However, it was Morocco who went more aggressive and was in attack mode starting in the 11th minute when Hakimi was close to kissing the net after a curling free-kick attempt.

Spain retaliated with their own scoring attempt but Bounou came at the right place and the right time after saving Gavi’s attempt.

Morroco continued its crisp offensive executions and tallied two more clean attempts to draw first blood in regulation but both teams still failed to cash in a goal.

The former World Cup kings had another chance of sending one for their lone goal in the 54th minute but Bounou once again came to the rescue to tap Dani Olmo’s attempt.

Spain had one last chance to avoid the extra period after being rewarded with a free kick in the last 30 seconds of the match. After Olmo fired a cross pass to Rodri, Bounou reacted with a desperation save that forced an extra time.

With the emphatic victory, Morocco will set up a highly-anticipated quarterfinal clash against Portugal on December 10, 2022.