It took a Panenka penalty to secure the African side their first ever World Cup quarter-final, and leaves Luis Enrique with big questions to answer
A win not just for Morocco, but for the whole of Africa, and for the whole of the Arab world. For the first time, the Atlas Lions are into the quarter-finals of the World Cup, and boy do they deserve to be.
What a shift they put in here, defending heroically for 120 minutes to hold Spain to a goalless draw in Doha, before triumphing 3-0 in a tense penalty shootout.
Achraf Hakimi, Madrid born and Morocco’s star player, was the man to seal it, the Paris Saint-Germain star staying cool amid the maelstrom to score with an outrageous ‘Panenka’ and clinch a famous victory. How they celebrated.
Earlier, goalkeeper Yassine Bounou had saved from both Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets, with Pablo Sarabia striking his penalty against the post as Spain suffered more shootout heartache. They were beaten on spot-kicks in the last 16 by Russia four years ago, and lost the semi-final of the European Championship to Italy last year in the same manner.
Luis Enrique’s side dominated the game itself, but were unable to turn possession into chances. They hit the post right at the end of extra-time through Sarabia, but could have few complaints about the outcome having managed only one shot on target in 120 minutes.