Morocco Beats Spain To Advance To World Cup Quarter-Finals
The Atlas Lions keep Africa in the fight for victory, as their Spanish defeat leads them closer to the trophy.
Victory! This week, the world watched as North African nation Morocco beat legendary soccer greats Spain in their final Round 16 game in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Soccer tournament. The two soccer powerhouses stayed neck-and-neck throughout the 90-minute ball game, through two 15-minute extra time slots, before Morocco claimed their power in the 3-0 penalty kick out. The Atlas Lions put on a fierce fight from start to finish, and are now the continent's last chance at the trophy.
The goalless two-hour play was arguably the least tedious scramble we've seen in this tournament so far, as both teams played a solid game that made the importance of the victory clear on both sides. Spain would no doubt be disappointed in their performance as there were simply too many failed attempts at a goal, however, their continued fight made for a beautiful game.
Player of the match is an undeniable choice in Moroccan-Canadian goalkeeper Yassine Bounou who saved all three of Spain's attempts with seemingly little strain in his first World Cup penalty shootout. Fellow teammate Achraf Hakimi sealed the Atlas Lion's position with a panenka penalty to finish off the Spanish opposition. Uproar exploded across Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar as Moroccan fans and their allies celebrated the shock victory. The players put on a spirited display as they celebrated themselves before kneeling before their fans and supporters to give their thanks, while disoriented Spanish tears watered the field.
Morocco now bears the weight of the continent on its shoulders, as they are the last African team with a chance at the championship, as they enter the quarter-finals. African teams that previously made the quarter-finals include Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010. No African team has ever made a World Cup semi-final... yet.
Next, Morocco will have to take on the victor in today's clash between Portugal and Switzerland.