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Keeper helps Morocco oust Spain on penalties into quarters

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-12-07 07:08
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Morocco's goalkeeper Yassine Bounou kisses the ball during the penalty shoot-out during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Morocco and Spain at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha on December 6, 2022. [Photo/VCG]

DOHA - Morocco roared into the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time after knocking former champions Spain out 3-0 on penalties on Tuesday.

After a goalless draw in the regular and extra times, Spain substitute Pablo Sarabia stood out for the first penalty kick but his attempt hit the right post.

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou then saved Spain's second and third spot kicks from Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets to allow Achraf Hakimi to put Morocco through by chipping his penalty down the middle.

Morocco had defended bravely against Spain that had over 75 percent of the ball, but failed to have a shot on target in open play, proving that although potency without control is nothing, control without potency also has its limits.

The game in the Education City Stadium was played in front of a packed house, with the vast majority supporting Morocco, and the fans erupted in jubilation when Hakimi (who came through the Real Madrid youth system) scored the winning penalty.

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