Morocco became the first Arab country to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals after beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday December 5, 2022.
Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed their penalties for Spain, with Sarabia hitting the post and Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou stopping the other two and Madrid-born Achraf Hakimi converted his penalty to send Morocco through to the quarter-finals.
The teams drew 0-0 in regulation and extra time.
Morocco has been the biggest surprise of the tournament and will next face either Portugal or Switzerland.
Morocco is also the only team from outside Europe or South America to make it to the last eight. The team made the round of 16 once be fore, at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Spain was eliminated by host Russia in a penalty shootout at the 2018 World Cup, and by Italy in the semifinals of last year’s European Championship.
It was the fifth straight time Spain played extra time in a knockout round of a major tournament. The team played 120 minutes against Russia and in all three of its knockout games at Euro 2020.
Moroccan fans significantly outnumbered and were louder – than the Spaniards at Education City Stadium.
Morocco and Spain are close neighbors with a complex geopolitical relationship.
Morocco, the only African country remaining in the 2022 World Cup following their victory against Spain, has gone to the quarterfinals for the first time in the tournament’s history.