The Education City Stadium was the ideal location for this match because Morocco appeared committed to teaching Spain a lesson. Yassine Bono skillfully deflected Dani Olmo’s shot over the bar after Ferran Torres pulled the ball back to him.
In fact, Morocco’s defence was so strong that Spain only managed one shot in the first half, the fewest shots they have ever taken in the first half of a World Cup game. Morocco believed they should have been ahead at the half despite having much less possession of the ball and more opportunities.
The Atlas Lions, the final team from Africa and the Arab world remaining in this tournament, were supposed to be the underdogs, but it was obvious that no one had told them as they persisted in taking the game to Spain. With the intensity they had displayed, it would not have been possible for them to continue, and Gavi started to get more time with the ball and started to select a few risky passes.
Olmo launched a free kick that appeared to be headed for the bottom corner after going through a horde of players in the box, but Bono palmed it away to force extra time. Sarabia was under pressure now, and the left-footer nearly won it for Spain in extra time by hitting the post. Before Carlos Soler’s attempt was stopped by Bono, Ziyech stepped up and fired it straight down the middle to give Morocco a 2-0 lead. Sergio Busquets, the captain of Spain, was stopped by Bono, and Hakimi coolly clipped his shot into the net to advance Morocco to the quarterfinals.