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Morocco 0-0 Spain: Player ratings as Atlas Lions pull off shock victory on penalties

Spain have become the latest big team to fall early at the World Cup after being knocked out by Morocco on penalties today.

It was a quiet first half, with neither side having many clear sights of goal. Marco Asensio latched onto Jordi Alba’s long pass but could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

As for Morocco, they twice came close to opening the scoring. First, Noussair Mazraoui had a shot from distance comfortably saved by Unai Simon. And shortly before half-time, Nayef Aguerd headed over from Sofiane Boufal’s cross.

There was similarly little to report after the break. The closest either side came to bagging a winner came in the dying seconds, when Dani Olmo’s free-kick evaded everyone before being pushed wide for a corner by Yassine Bounou. But there were no goals before the final whistle, taking the game to extra time.

The first half of extra time saw Morocco have a glorious chance to take the lead. Some brilliant work by Azzedine Ounahi allowed Walid Cheddira through on goal, but he could only fire straight at Simon.

With the final kick of the game, Pablo Sarabia came within inches of nicking a winner. He was picked out by Rodri’s cross, and his volley from a tight angle skimmed off the far post. This was the final action of the game, bringing it to penalties.

Abdelhamid Sabiri was the first to take, and he confidently rolled his into the bottom corner. Next up was Pablo Sarabia, who slammed his effort against the post.

Hakim Ziyech was next, and he smashed his penalty right down the middle to make it 2-0. Carlos Soler followed, but his effort was saved by Bounou.

Badr Benoun took the third penalty for Morocco, but his strike was saved by Simon. Sergio Busquets had the opportunity to pull one back for Spain, but his spot-kick was also saved.

Achraf Hakimi stepped up, knowing his side would go through if he scored. With the pressure on, he coolly chipped straight down the middle to send Morocco through to the quarter-finals.

For the third tournament in a row, Spain have been eliminated in a shoot-out. Morocco will become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals if they win their next tie.

They will face either Portugal or Switzerland on Saturday.


Yassine Bounou (8/10) – Solid in regular play. Saved two penalties out of three in the shoot-out.

Achraf Hakimi (8/10) – Held firm at the back under a lot of pressure. Converted his winning penalty in style.

Nayef Aguerd (8/10) – Let nothing past him while on the pitch. Substituted on 84 minutes with an injury.

Romain Saiss (8/10) – Battled through injuries and put in a fine performance.

Noussair Mazraoui (7/10) – Solid in defence. Had one effort from distance which was easily saved.

Sofyan Amrabat (8/10) *MOTM* – Shielded the backline perfectly. Able to limit the influence of Pedri with several tackles and interceptions.

Azzedine Ounahi (7/10) – Worked hard and showed some quality on the ball. Created the best chance of the game in extra time.

Selim Amallah (6/10) – Helped stop Spain’s midfield from taking control of the game. Didn’t contribute much going forward.

Hakim Ziyech (6/10) – Provided some threat going forward. Scored his penalty in the shoot-out.

Youssef En-Nesyri (5/10) – Unable to make much of an impact up against Spain’s centre-backs.

Sofiane Boufal (7/10) – Displayed some of his impressive dribbling ability and gave Llorente a tough time, while also creating the best chance of the first half. Came off with a slight injury after the break.


Abdessamad Ezzalzouli (7/10)

Yahya Attiat-Allah (6/10)

Walid Cheddira (5/10)

Abdelhamid Sabiri (7/10)

Jawad El Yamiq (5/10)

Badr Benoun (5/10)


Unai Simon (7/10) – Made one vital save in extra time. Saved a penalty in the shoot-out.

Marcos Llorente (5/10) – Struggled to handle the trickery of Boufal. Improved after the winger went off.

Rodri (7/10) – Defended well. Put in a brilliant cross late on to set up Sarabia for a chance.

Aymeric Laporte (7/10) – Also fairly solid at the back and good on the ball.

Jordi Alba (7/10) – Didn’t let much past him. Played a couple of nice passes.

Sergio Busquets (5/10) – Calm in possession, but far from his best. Poor penalty in the shoot-out.

Gavi (6/10) – Showed some flashes of quality, but was unable to take control of the game.

Pedri (6/10) – Bright on the ball, but couldn’t unlock a stern Moroccan defence.

Ferran Torres (5/10) – Kept fairly quiet by Morocco’s backline. Unable to get a sight at goal before being substituted.

Marco Asensio (5/10) – Had one chance in the first half. Very quiet otherwise.

Dani Olmo (6/10) – Looked like the most likely to do something for Spain. Came very close to netting a late winner.


Alvaro Morata (6/10)

Carlos Soler (5/10)

Nico Williams (7/10)

Alejandro Balde (5/10)

Ansu Fati (5/10)

Pablo Sarabia (4/10)

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