- Morocco stunned Spain with a FIFA World Cup victory on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals.
- The result was surprising, since Spain was favorite before the tournament.
- Spain even took 1,000 penalties but failed to score a single one when it mattered most.
Spain boss Luis Enrique said the national soccer team took 1,000 penalties ahead of the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup, yet they failed to score a single penalty kick when it mattered most.
Spain played Morocco in a round of 16 match on Tuesday at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, and according to the bookies, they were the favorites to advance to the quarter-final stage.
Due to the exploits of Sofyan Amrabat, who troubled Spain with his physique, Achraf Hakimi, whose defensive game was on point throughout the match, and goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who kept a clean sheet, Morocco dragged the game into extra time. .
Even in the penalty shootout, Spain would have imagined their chances.
A shootout is ‘a moment of maximum tension’, said the Spain coach
“More than a year ago, in one of the camps in Spain, I told them that they had to arrive here with at least 1,000 penalties taken,” Spain coach Enrique told reporters recently. according to the goal.
“If you wait to get here to take penalties, then it won’t be enough,” added Enrique.
“It is a moment of maximum tension, a moment to show your nerve and that you can take the penalty the way you have decided if you have trained it a thousand times.
“It says a lot about each player,” said the 52-year-old quarterback. “It’s trainable, manageable, how you handle the tension. It’s less and less luck, the goalkeepers have more influence.
“We have a very good goalkeeper, any of the three can do very well in this situation. Every time we finish training I see a lot of players taking penalties”.
But all that practice was in vain.
Despite the hours that the Spanish team dedicated to their penalty kick tests, it was all for nothing as Morocco left them out of the tournament forever.
Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi scored their penalties for Morocco.
Meanwhile, Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed their shots or were saved by Moroccan goalkeeper Bounou.
The win was huge for Morocco as they knocked out one of the favorites from the tournament and scored a significant win for their country and African football in general.
Now Portugal plays on Saturday with a place in the semifinal at stake.
The World Cup final concludes on December 18.