Chelsea In Qatar – Morocco v Spain

Morocco 0 – 0 Spain (after 30 mins extra time: Morocco win 3-0 on penalties)

(Round of 16, Education City Stadium, 06/12/2022)

Chelsea’s Ziyech and Azpilicueta (Dave) were our Blue interest in this game

Morocco named an unchanged side against Spain who made 5 changes after their loss against Japan.

Morocco had over 20 thousand fans in the stadium creating a cauldron of noise

Spain were playing in Sky Blue as Morocco had won their group and got to play in Red.

Morocco started on the front foot playing their customary solid defensive style while breaking down the wings.

The 1st strike on goal comes from a free-kick, but Hakimi put it over the bar.

Morocco were doing well down the right with Hakimi and Ziyech linking well.

Morocco were putting pressure on Busquets and stopping him being in the game.

25 minutes in and Spain were starting to come into the game, Gavi had a great strike well saved by Bono up onto the bar, and the follow up by Torres was well cut out as it was heading in, although the flag went up for offside.

32 minutes, Simone makes a good stop from a long range strike by  Mazraoui.

Spain are putting Morocco under a bit of pressure and they are dropping deeper, but their defence is holding firm.

42 Morocco have a good chance after a good ball from Ziyech, and they follow that with a 2nd good chance, but they come to nothing

Most of the Spanish attacks seem to be coming from Moroccan mistakes.

54 minutes and a good short free-kick and  shot from Olmo brings a good save from Bono

The game starting to open up, end to end stuff

Ex Chelsea boy Morata comes on for Ascencio and Gavi comes off  replaced by Soler

Alba looks to be in a bit of trouble, but the magic spray sorts him out for now

Spain are building patiently,

Morocco make a change Boufal goes off replaced by youngster Ezzalzouli

70 minutes gone and Spain are camped in the Moroccan half, Williams comes on For Torres, Laporte is then booked for a foul on Hakini

Spain are turning up the pressure

81 mins and Morata flashes a pass across the goal mouth but their is no one there for Spain

A  triple change for Morocco as they need fresh legs

85 mins and Morocco have a rare chance, 89 minutes and a yellow card for Saiss and Olma, a foul gives Spain a good chance, but Morata heads it over.

5 mins of added time

Simone then takes a bit to long over a ball and its almost stolen from him.

Morata then gets a way with a dead leg tackle which angers the Moroccans

The free-kick creates a chance for Morocco but its tame.

Olmo wins a free-kick in the last minute and Bono punches it away to safety

The game goes to extra time

A very late offside saves Cheddira’s blushes as he receives a great though ball, but fails to put it in the net.

Sub Nico Williams is causing all kinds of problems for Morocco

Spain make another two changes, Morocco are looking very tired.

99 minutes and a good ball into the box by Morata is cut out as Williams looked to get on the end of it.

Then from a good break Chedderi breaks through  the Spanish defence and draws a good save from Simone.

Morocco have had the better chances of the 1st part of extra time despite continuous Spanish pressure

110 mins Moroccan Captain Saiss clears a ball and goes down holding his hamstring, he goes off for treatment they are temporarily down to 10 men, he’s treated and hobbles back on.

Cheddiri gets another break but runs down a cul-de-sac, good Spanish defensive work.

115 both sides looking very leggy.

The noise in the stadium gets even louder as we near penalties.

Spain sub the excellent sub William’s with Sarabia who comes on presumably to take a penalty by the looks of things. Morocco then make a late sub as well

3 minutes of extra time in extra time

Spain laying siege to the Moroccan goal, Morocco defending for their lives

Sarabia hits the far post with a last minute chance after a great cross finds his run at the near post.

The game goes to penalties.

1-0 Morocco Sabiri.

Sarabia bought on with a minute to go hits the post

2-0 Ziyech smashes the ball home straight down the middle

A poor penalty by Soler is saved by Bono

Simone saves another poorly taken penalty.

Busquets has his poor penalty saved by Bono.

And the Spanish born Hakimi wins the tie with a cheeky Panenka.

Spain despite all their usual possesion football failed to find their way through a solid defensive performance by Morocco and join England and Italy on 3 group stage penalty losses.

Ziyech marches into the 1/4 finals with the Atlas Lions and Dave in probably his last World Cup is coming home.

Morocco: Bounou, Hakimi, Aguerd, Saiss, Mazraoui, Ounahi, Amrabat, Amallah, Ziyech, En-Nesyri, Boufal. 

Spain: Simon, Llorente, Rodri, Laporte, Jordi Alba, Gavi, Busquets, Gonzalez, Ferran Torres, Asensio, Olmo. 

Referee: Fernando Rapallini (Argentina)

Posted by the CSG’s World Cup Willie 





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