WORLD CUP QATAR 2022: Round of 16 Action

0
447

Morocco stun Spain to the Quarter Finals, Portugal shine.

Achraf Hakimi struck the decisive penalty to send Spain crashing out and Morocco into the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time, winning 3-0 in a shoot-out on Tuesday after a goalless draw.

The two teams couldn’t be separated after 120 minutes and Spain failed to convert any of their three penalties, with goalkeeper Yassine Bounou brilliantly saving two.

Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets missed from the spot and Madrid-born Hakimi dinked his chance home to the delight of Morocco’s fans.

Spain dominated the game and Morocco sat back plugging the gaps, with very few clear-cut chances being created.

The North African side’s fans had been making themselves heard all game but the atmosphere in the stands did not match the attritional battle on the pitch.

Morocco and Portugal meet in the Quarter finals clash in what would be another must watch fixture.

Elsewhere, Portugal coach Fernando Santos dropped Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench for the last-16 meeting with Switzerland and was rewarded with a hat-trick from replacement Goncalo Ramos.

The 21-year-old Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos hit the first hat-trick of the World Cup tournament on his first international start, to help set up a quarter-final against surprise package Morocco after their win against Spain on penalties.

Portugal scored the opener through Ramos after 17 minutes before experienced defender Pepe doubled Portugal’s lead when he headed home Bruno Fernandes’ corner in the 33rd minute.

Six minutes after the break, Ramos added to his tally and the third for Portugal with Raphael Guerriero setting up his team for a fourth four minutes later.

Switzerland managed to pull a goal back through Manchester City’s defender Manuel Akanji but Portugal’s ability with the ball caused problems for Switzerland.

The dream full debut continued as Ramos completed his hat-trick at the 67th minute and it was AC Milan star Raphael Leao who sealed the deal late in the game.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here