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World Cup Rewind: Morocco ousts Spain on penalties, Portugal rolls Switzerland


Morocco’s dream run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup continued Tuesday with Walid Regragui’s squad outlasting tournament contenders Spain to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

Morocco defeated Spain 3-0 on penalty kicks after the sides played out a goal-less affair for 120 minutes. Yassine Bounou denied both Sergio Busquets and Carlos Soler in the shootout while Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech, and Achraf Hakimi all successfully scored from their attempts.

Morocco had the first true chance of the match with Bayern Munich left back Noussair Mazraoui testing Unai Simon in the 33rd minute. Simon gathered Mazraoui’s long-range strike on the second attempt, keeping the sides scoreless.

Spain continued to own possession throughout the second half and almost claimed a late winning goal. Dani Olmo’s cross turned into a shot, forcing Bounou to push away the winger’s effort.

After neither team could muster up a winning goal, penalties were needed to find a winner. Pablo Sarabia’s shot in the first round struck the post, putting Spain into an early hole.

Soler’s shot was pushed wide by Bounou before Busquets’ attempt was also repelled by the 31-year-old goalkeeper. Hakimi’s chipped finish in the fourth round sealed the shocking victory for Morocco, setting it up for a quarterfinal date with Portugal on Sunday.

Portugal 6, Switzerland 1

(Goncalo Ramos 17′, 51′, 67′, Pepe 33′, Raphael Guerreiro 55′, Rafael Leao 90+2′) – (Manuel Akanji 58′)

Portugal’s dynamic attack was clicking on all cylinders in Round of 16 action on Tuesday with Fernando Santos’ squad rolling past Switzerland 6-1.

Goncalo Ramos netted a hat trick for the winners while Portugal scored four of its six goals in the second half against the Swiss. Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench for Portugal after his confrontation with Santos in the group stage loss to South Korea.

Ramos’ impressive night kicked off in the 17th minute with the 21-year-old blasting home a shot past Yann Sommer into the top-left corner. Ramos took one touch in the box from a Joao Felix throw-in before hammering home.

Pepe doubled Portugal’s lead in the 33rd minute, rising high on a Bruno Fernandes corner kick before heading home his first goal of the tournament. The 39-year-old became the oldest men’s player to score in the knockout stage of the tournament.

Portugal kept its foot on the gas in the second half with Ramos adding his second and third goals of the night. The Benfica forward snuck in front of the Swiss backline to finish off Diego Dalot’s cross in the 51st minute before Raphael Guerreiro added his name to the scoresheet just four minutes later.

Manuel Akanji’s cool finish in the box cut the Swiss deficit to 4-1 in the 58th minute, but Portugal answered with two final goals of the night. Ramos completed his first international hat trick after slotting home Felix’s second assist of the night.

Rafael Leao came off the bench to score his first goal for his country, capping off a dominant performance for Portugal.


  1. I’m still researching what countries have won a WC with more than 2 teenagers getting significant minutes. I’ve gone through rosters last 3 WCs and I’m burnt out searching 2010 WC rosters. Did you know that countries with more than 2 teenagers on the WC roster haven’t ever won a WC? Like Spain this WC with 4. Per my research-
    It’s def bad luck to have more than 1 teen playing significant minutes. It’s similar to a foreign manager never winning a men’s WC with a country, not of his birth. Keyword: Men’s WC.

  2. i doubt morocco played the same guys against us, but since some people were using japan’s elimination as an excuse for us going out, i’m using morocco’s advancement as a cudgel that we too should have advanced. we beat a team that beat spain to make the quarters. anyhow, i just don’t like the whole justificatory tone of that debate. you don’t get better making excuses. you get better making changes. the people thinking “hard work” or “give it time” don’t know how winning works.

    • The Atlas Lions didn’t have Ziyech, Masaroaui (fullback), or Boufal (LW) vs the Stars & Stripes. 6 starters & 2 subs vs Spain, played in the US friendly. Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Wales, England, Switzerland, Qatar, Brasil, Uruguay, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada. (I may have missed a few; this is off the top of my head). That’s 12 out of 32 WC countries, played the US in a some capacity this past cycle.

      • USMNT vs. Morocco was a friendly. It was a practice game.

        There’s only so much you can take from a friendly.

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