Morocco beat Spain on penalties after scoreless draw
Morocco's plan comes off to perfection
Morocco knew exactly what they were going to do against a favoured Spain side at Education City Stadium in the Round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup.Stand strong in defence, as they had done in the tournament up till now (conceding only one goal in the group stages, an own goal against Canada), and look to hit the Spaniards on the break when they had the chance...
And if those breaks led to nothing they'd regroup and absolutely ensure Spain couldn't break through. And if the match had to go to extra-time, well so be it. And if it had to go to penalties, well that too.
So it came to pass. Spain moved the ball around for the entire match, as we knew they would, stringing together something like 1,000 passes to 250 from Morocco, but in terms of shots and chances there was little to separate the two sides, and when after 120 minutes neither side had scored, Morocco's men of the hour did exactly what was needed: keeper Bono saved two, while Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi scored their spot-kicks to send Spain out and Morocco into the next round, where Portugal or Switzerland await,
Portugal vs Switzerland live online: first half, score, stats and updates | Qatar World Cup 2022
Morocco will now play the winner of Portugal vs Switzerland, which you can follow live with Roddy!
Key saves and stopping two penalties in the shoot-out... Bono was deserved man of the match.
Smile for Morocco: "Yes, we're representing Spain, we need to know how to congratulate our rivals. They played their game, and it went well for them. They were better than us in the penalty shoot out."
Domination of the game: "I think football is an amazing sport. But it has that aspect that a team can win without attacking. We've tried to create, we wish we'd done more. We struggled, we had 11 shots, not many on goal. Sarabia hit the post... I'm proud of my team. I'm really sorry for the players who didn't get to play."
Cruel penalties: "That's down to me. I chose the first three. The others depending on how felt. Bono is an amazing keeper."
First big surprise of the World Cup: "Yes, unfortunately. One you're in the World Cup you want the other favourites to go out. I'm so sorry for the fans, for all the support they gave us."
Future: "Now is not the time. Right now I just want to go home and see my people. I guess next week, when the president thinks it's right, we'll decide my future."
Luis Enrique, on Gol TV, says Spain just lacked getting a goal. "We tried to get through by air, land and sea, but it's the hardest part of football. We put in a huge physical shift. I'm so proud of my players. They did exactly what I wanted them to do. But that's life and that's sport."
"Penalties aren't a lottery. No. I chose the players, and I'd pick them again because they were the best out there. The only ones who can miss are the ones who take them. Knowing how to lose is important in life too.We're going home and that's that."
What happened? "This happens in football, it's tough. We created opportunities but it was difficult. Penalties are like that. We didn't do what we had to. We're going home. It's one of my worst days ever."
Morocco: "We expected they'd play 11 men at the back, like in all the games we play. Football is cruel sometimes. The team gave everything."
Unfair? "Football doesn't getfairness or whether the ball should go in. You end up going to penalties and that's a lottery. Thank you to all the Spaniards and everyone who supported us. We gave it our all but it wasn't to be"
History makers indeed for Morocco!
Morocco coach WalidRegragui only took over on 31 August after winning the African Champions League in May with Wydad.
Morocco won Group F, beat world number two Belgium, got into the last-16 for first time since 1986, and is now into the quarter-final for Morocco's first ever time having knocked out Spain.
Morocco are the first African team to win a penalty shootout at the World Cup, would you believe. and the first African side to reach the World Cup quarter-finals since 2010.
Morocco's other heroes:
The three penalty takers who scored to send Morocco flying into the next round.
Bono the hero for Morocco - saved Olmo's free-kick late on and then saved two of Spain's spot-kicks, with Sarabia hitting the post on the first one.
Morocco qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in their history. They'll play the winner of Portugal - Switzerland that starts at 2 p.m. ET.
Luis Enrique before the game said he'd told his players to practice a 1,000 penalties... maybe they needed something more.
Morocco's game plan worked to perfection, they soaked up Spain's pressure, had their chances to hit them on the break, but above all made sure they made it to the penalties where they did what they had to do and Spain very much didn't.
Morocco go through on penalties! Spain fail to score a single spot-kick and Morocco are into their first ever quarter-final!
Achraf Hakimi converts and Morocco are through!
Luis Enrique looks destroyed.
Morocco are nearly there! 2-0 after three penalties!
Busquets to take... he looks calmer than he has any right to do... but Bono saves!
Morocco lead 2-0 with Spain to take their third.
Badr Benoun denied by Simon!
Soler up for Spain... and Bono saves! Dived left and found exactly what he was looking for!
Morocco 2-0 Spain
Hakim Ziyech for Morocco... and he blasts down the centre and Simon dives and that's 2-0 Morocco. Spain with their second penalty now.
Morocco 1-0 Spain
Nico Williams thinking he could have donebetter there.
Sarabia up for the next penalty... and he misses! Hits the right post!
Simon went the wrong way. Nicely taken penalty.
Morocco 1-0 Spain
Sabiri converts the first kick!
Simon and Bono the two keepers, walk up to the goal with their arms round each other.
Stats show the side that shoot first are slightly more likely to go through...
Morocco win the toss! And they'll start with the first penalty
Both Morocco and Spain in the huddles...
Penalties between Morocco and Spain!
Full time in extra-time! Morocco and Spain goes to penalties!
Sarabia at the back post shouldscore, but somehow sends it too flat and it hits the post and flies to safety!
El Yamiq clears a cross, it's back to walls now for Morocco, they are just holding on for penalties.
Busquets, remarkably, has a chance at the top of the box, but he makes a hash of it.
Three minutes and then we'll have penalties!
Morocco make a sub too, Azzedine Ounahi is replaced by Badr Benoun
Williams off for Sarabia! Luis Enrique not convinced by Williams' spot kicks clearly.
Williams crosses wonderfully but Hakimi clears at the back post!
Morocco fans screaming encouragement for their team as they come down the left, but a fine tackle sends Spain haring up the pitch with Morata running and then passing for Ansu Fati... but he overhits it!
Cheddira through again! Laporte eventually shepherds him off the ball but if the Bari striker had just a little bit more that should have been 1-0 Morocco.
Clock ticks relentlessly down and Spain mostly continue to do the same, with Morocco eyeing every chance to hit them with a sucker punch.
Long ball out to Balde on the left who volleys it square into the box. But yet again there's nobody there for Spain.
Saiss is down clutching his hamstring. He's getting treatment but doesn't look like he can carry on.
Spain building from midfield, looking for someone, anyone to make a decent run. Busquets over hits his chipped pass over the top and it doesn't matter who was making a run.
Amrabat nearly nicks it in midfield but Busquets covers. Sudden sprint from the Moroccan to create the chance.
Tension on the pitch and in the stadium now is palpable. Both sides and sets of supporters terrified of making a mistake. Well, apart from Spanish goalie Simon, who seems to not care one whitabout playing it around at the back with Moroccan players bearing down...
Soler to Fati running into the box on the left... but he overhits it and the chance has gone.
Second half of extra-time underway!
Yes, yes, I know. My 2-3 prediction is looking ever more woeful.
Morocco and Spain ready for the second half of extra-time.
Best chance of extra-time so far fell to Cheddira who was played through but failed to beat Unai Simón from close range.
End of the first half of extra-time!
Morocco 0-0 Spain
Corner at the end of the first half of extra-time and Bono clears well, punching to safety.
SIMON! Morocco really had to score there, with Cheddira played through, but the Spanish goalie stood up well and blocked. That's a massive save!
Rodri! Blazes over.
Balde cuts out a dangerous Morocco counter!
Spain have had 800 passes. Morocco have had 208.
And I'd say Morocco have had more dangerous passes overall.
Morata! Gets to the byeline in the box at the left post and his ball across just fails to find a Spanish player. Nico Williams was ready to bury it, but had it nicked off his forehead.
Fresh legs for Spain!
Ansu Fati and Balde come on, taking the place of Dani Olmo and Jordi Alba.
Williams feels like he might make a difference with his more direct approach, but he needs the rest of the team to read what he's up to.
Williams crosses and Morata is close to getting his head on it at the front post, but there's nobody behind him and Morocco clear easily.
Morata bundled off the ball and Spain start again. Morocco are looking brighter at the start of the extra-time, as if they feel they have a chance to go and get one.
Cheddira runs through and is about to pull the trigger when Laporte nicks it off him, Offside anyway, but Spain are playing with fire at the back.
Simon with the ball at his feet wandering along his own line... Spain fans very nervous.
Spain knock it about, Morocco manage to nick it and send a long ball over the top for Spain to deal with, which Llorente does, but nervously.
So, basically extra-time starting exactly as regulation time finished.
Extra-time underway! Morocco vs Spain!
Spain to kick off extra-time! Round 16 World Cup. 30 minutes or we go to penalties.
Morocco and Spain ready for extra-time. Coin toss and the sides take their positions.
Spain bossed possession throughout that second half but really produced very little. Morocco were happy to soak it up and hit them on the break and came closer than Spain will have liked to doing so. Simon had another couple of nervy moments, but the Lions of Atlas failed to capitalise.
That's it! Full time with no goals and we'll have extra-time between Morocco and Spain!
BONO! The Seville keeper flies to his left to stop Olmo's free-kick which flew straight to him.
Last chance of regulation time for Spain! Olmo to send it in!
Spain move it around the midfield, but don't look entirely convinced they're going to get anything.
Morocco hurl the ball into the box, but with the players straying offside...
Cardiologists around Spain cursing Simon's actions at the back. Once again clearing just as a Morocco player was about to nab the ball off him on his own line. Nervous, nervous stuff.
MORATA! Header at the back post flies miles over! That's a poor effort.
Five minutes of time added on. Morocco 0-0 Spain.
Saiss knocks Olmo over and that's a yellow. And a dangerous free-kick for Spain on the left.
Morata and Nico Williams link up in the box, but the latter's shot is blocked!
Simon miles off his line and that could have been disaster for Spain as his clearance doesn't go very far and to a Moroccan player. They fail to capitalise, the final ball sliding away.
Nico Williams incredibly quick down the right touchline, but the Moroccan defence send two over to cover and just shut down the danger!
Morocco nearly in! Long ball down the right, cross in and Laporte has to draw on all his skill to kill the danger. Spain living very dangerously as they push people forward in a bid to break down Morocco's backline.
Aguerd can't go on and he comes off forJawad El Yamiq to take his place.
Aguerd picks up a kncok and he's struggling.
Triple changefor Morocco, who have been really tiring in the past few minutes.
Selim Amallah offforWalid Cheddira
Youssef En Nesyri off forAbdelhamid Sabiri
Noussair Mazraoui off forYahya Attiat-Allal
Morocco can't hold on to the ball as they come and give it straight back to Spain, but Spain are still struggling to do anything truly dangerous with it. They've got to find a way to get in behind the backline. Will Nico Williams be the man?
Nico Williams creates down the right! He manages to get a lovely ball down the corridor of uncertainty, which Morocco are forced to clear desperately.
Olmo decides to go for it, but only manages to trouble row Z as his shot flies over.
Ferran Torres who has been decent most of the game, but maybe just lacked that magic spark Spain have needed comes off. Nico Williams comes on to try and change things about.
Laporte booked! Challenge on Hakimi. First booking of the match.
Spain desperateto come up with a way to break through the Morocco backline but they are running out imagination the closer they get to the box.
Morocco break with a fine ball from Saiss to Ziyech and as Spanish hearts flutter he fails to control and the move breaks down.
The official attendance is 44,667... and would you believe it, it's a full house!
Twenty minutes to play and Morocco right now are sitting back and offering nothing in terms of possession attacking, their plan is to soak up the Spanish pressure and hit them on the break.
Long, long spell of possession just outside the Morocco box, but Spain are forced to start again and again, until finally Olmo slips Morata through! He's into the box, but that's a fine saving tackle from Aguerd! Morata gets a tiny toe to the ball a second earlier and that's a penalty, but the Moroccan defender timed it to perfection!
Morocco coach Regragui decides it's time to ring the changes too. Boufal, who has been cracking though dropping away in the last few minutes, comes off and Ez Abde comes on!
The magic sponge has done its work and Jordi Alba can continue.
Double substituion for Spain!
- Gavi comes off for Carlos Soler
- Asensio comes off for Álvaro Morata
Alba takes a knock to the back of the leg and he needs the magic sponge.
Bono heads the ball off his own line? He must have thought it could have been a backpass. The ball ends up setting up a decent counter for Morocco, though it breaks down on the right.
Gavi pushed to the deck by Aguerd who moans bitterly about the foul. Both sets of players get a bit heated, but the ref restores order fairly swiftly.
Spain continue to probe the Morocco backline as the hour approaches. Where can they produce a killer ball from?
31 seconds for Morocco to recover the ball, 15 seconds for Spain so far.
En Nesyri a country mile offside. Spain still raging at the fact Olmo was bundled off the ball to start the move with the ref giving nothing.
Boom! Asensio touches the free-kick to Olmo to get an angle and he absolutely smashes it goalwards... alas for him it's at Bono who stands up and manages to stop it. That was some thump.
Olmo to Gavi and he's away down the left until Hakimi decides he's not having that going on down his touchline and sends Gavi sprawling. He's going to be extremely green after that if he wasn't before.
Morata is warming up for Spain...
Spain look a bit brighter coming forward at the start of the second half, but they need to keep their wits about them at the back. The longer this game goes without a goal the more nervous both sides are going to get...
Alba turns to take the ball out to the touchline, then decides to go back and play it to Simon in goals, with the keeper under pressure from two Morocco players! He only just lumps it clear before being caught! That was very dangerous from Alba and Spain.
Free-kick out on the right for Spain. Dangerous position. Olmo sends it in, but it's nodded clear for a throw-in to Spain. Too easily dealt with that ball.
Spain throw it back and then build from the midfield again, Olmo linking up well with his teammates.
Second half underway! Morocco vs Spain!
FIFA have said there is no paint on the pitch to make it look more lovely, Augusta style.Make up your own mind...
Our prediction of 3-2to Spain is looking... rather optimistic in terms of a goal frenzy. But who knows! As the teams tire things are going to open up, and if Spain get the first and Morocco have to go in search of the game, their defence is likely to become a lot more wobbly.
Spain had 69% of the possession in that half. There were 13 fouls, with 10 of them committed by Spain, which didn't feel entirely in keeping with what was happening on the pitch, No cards yet from referee Rapallini.
Peep, peep! End of the half!
As expected Spain dominated possession, but didn't create that much with it, apart from a gift from Bono they threw away by forgetting the offside rule and a golden chance for Asensio to square to unmarked Ferran, but he blasted it into the side netting instead.
Morocco, who defended mostly stoutly, hadn't created much over the first 45, but had two fine chances at the end.
Wow! Morocco give the ball away in the midfield and Spain break fast, getting the ball to Asensio out left, he squares it and Dani Olmo dummies it... to nobody! #Asyouwere
One minute of time added on to be played!
Suddenly Spain are living dangerously! A cross comes over from the left which Simon leaves as it's just too high from him at his back post and it's nearly played to Morocco feet. Spain just clear.
And from that non-existent foul Morocco nearly score! The ball pings around the box before Boufal (again!) gets a neat cross in from the left, and Aguerd nods over!
Gavi nicks the ball without touching Boufal, who goes down and the referee gives the free-kick. He's been rather inconsistent today has Rapallini.
Morocco have had about five minutes without really getting into Spain's half, they're tiring as the half draws to a close. Luis Enrique keen for his side to go for it with five minutes before the break.
Ferran again down the right, but again it's nabbed off his toes. Ball flies out for a throw-in, which goes Morocco's way, much to the disgust of Spain. Did look like it might be theirs.
Ferran causing all sorts of bother down the right. He held off Morocco players as he took the ball into the box there, but just failed to move it fast enough to anyone. Moroccodefending ferociously.
Mazraoui smacks one but Simon gets to it well, but then spills it! Heart in mouth moment with Morocco players bearing down, but he gets it at the second attempt! Not a bad initial hit and if that had taken a deflection that could have been 1-0 Morocco.
Spain are pushing just a bit deeper into the Morocco half as they probe their back line looking for an opening.
Spain suddenly creating danger there, once from Bono being daft, but the other was some lovely football to play Asensio in and he should have done better to find Ferran.
Asensio played in! He's just got to square it to Ferran who is free in the middle, but he goes himself and only slams it into the side netting! What a chance for Spain! What a let off for Morocco!
Bono gives the ball to Spain with a terrible clearance, it falls to Gavi who hits the bar and then it's cleared off the line! Ah, it's offside from the initial ball into the box, but that's a real let-off for Morocco!
Boufal down after Busquets stands right in his way, though that came after Llorente was fouled. It's all a bit bogged down in midfield right now, with both sides needing a bit of inspiration.
Boufal with some tricksy feet to create an attack. He's looked one of the liveliest for Morocco so far.
Olmo and Gavi conspire to knock over Amrabat out on the right. It's a long way out and that's a really poor diagonal ball that doesn't even make it into the box, or find a Morocco player.
Neither side has fully settled here, which us understandable, it's the knockout stages of the World Cup!
Spain are bossing possession, but struggling to do much with it at the real danger end. A long ball over the top from Laporte a perfect example of that, Alba was making a run through, but was never going to get to that. Bono gathered easily.
What Spain have been generally doing well is pressing Morocco when they have the ball and theLions of Atlas are yet to really create anything of significance.
Rafa Nadal cheering on Spain...
Boufal feedsMazraoui down the left and he gets a cross in, but Simon claims easily.
Bono and his defenders playing with fire there trying to pass the ball out from the back, with two Spain players right on top of them. That would have been unforgettable and unforgivable if Spain had nabbed the opener. There is a time to hoof it!
Boufal collapses on the run towards Spain's box and the ref, rather softly, hands a free kick to Morocco. Dangerous!
Made worse for Spain because Busquets was clearly fouled just before and Spain got no advantage.
Hakimi sends the free-kick curling nicely over the wall, but alas for him, curling all the way over Simon's goal. As you were.
Ferran dribbles into the box and then produces a backheel that just doesn't quite squeeze to a team-mate and Morocco clear, but they were backing off worryingly as Ferran ran at them there.
Olmo nearly got in down the left there, but he also let it run out the back.
Well, this is a nice and open couple of minutes, with the ball pinging about from one end to another. No superbly silky football on display but both sides are showing willing.
First Morocco attack! They move it nippily down the right, with Ziyech flying along and past his man, but his final touch lets him down and he pings the ball far too far ahead and it runs out for a goal kick.
Spain early possession -who would have guessed?! - Morocco sitting back but watching like hawks and covering every run, before going in to challenge as soon as they have a sniff of getting the ball.
Their plan is to keep Spain out of the final third, beyond that Morocco are happy to let Spain knock it about.
Morocco's first chance on the ball and they look to settle, as Spain harry them, which works with Hakimi losing the ball and letting it run out for a throw.
Spain sent it up to Rodri up the left and then start knocking it about on the deck. Alba is battered off the ball by Ziyech. Early setting out their stall? Foul, but nothing comes off it.
Spain get us underway!
Morocco as the home side, group winners see, are in their classic red shirt and green shorts kit, while Spain are in their pastel blue and white shorts away kit. It's nice, but not a patch on the classic Rojo kit.
Prediction... 3-2 to Spain.
All set at Education City! Morocco vs Spain live!
Gonna hand the anthems to Morocco. Made easier by having words and about twice the number of supporters.
Looo lo, looo lo, lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo lo looo looo looooooo......
as they tend to write the humming along in Spain.
Morocco national anthem! The Cherifian Anthem is both stirring and fairly militaristic.
Fernando Rapallini is your referee today. I always wonder which coin they use for the toss, one from Qatar, one from his home country of Argentina, or somewhere else?
Why does the Spanish anthem have no lyrics and what other countries only have music in their anthem?
Morocco and Spainjust about to come out. And then it'll be anthem time so have a quick look at why you can only hum along to the Spain anthem.
Luis Enrique on penalties
Luis Enrique talked about the need to practice penalties well before the World Cup.
"I imagine that the playershave done their homework. Over a year ago, in one of the Spain camps, I told them they had to get here with at least 1,000 penalties taken.
If you wait until getting to Qatar to practise penalties... [that's not going tobe enough]. It’s a moment of maximum tension, a time to show your nerves and that you can shoot the penalty in the way you have decided, if you have trained it a thousand times.
According to the Spain coach it's a trainable situation:
It says a lot about each player. It’s trainable, manageable, how you manage the tension. It’s increasingly 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.
Riot police ready with fans at the gates
There are a lot of ticketless fans outside Education City Stadium. Fingers crossed everything continues peaceably.
Morocco 1-0 Spain
Morocco starting with a clear advantage in the stands, outnumbering the Spain fans massively.
Spain at the World Cup
Rafel Pol, Luis Enrique's assistant on the Spain coaching staff, says that Spain have played 300 minutes and performed well for280 or 290 of them. He says the line-up was similar against Germany as it is today, and that the side has been consistent.
Curious take, as Spain really didn't perform at all for 45 minutes against Japan and it would be hard to say they were decent for the whole of the Germany game, even if the result flattered Germany.
Consistency doesn't usually look like 7-0, 1-1 and 1-2, but the take is presumably that Spain have followed their game plan and run about hard. The actual outcome of that is affected by lots of other factors, but he's claiming the input from Spain has been similar over the three games.
Who's getting schooled at Education City Stadium today?
Superb scene at Education City Stadium for Morocco vs Spain.
Photo from our man in the crowd, who confirms the Morocco fans are outnumbering the Spain fans.
Spain come out to warm up and are greeted by a chorus of boos from the Morocco fans in Education City Stadium.
UEFA backing Spain
European football's governing body gives a big thumbs up to Spain.
All money to charity from Luis Enrique
Spain coach Luis Enrique has been streaming live on Twitch during the World Cup, which many thought was a risky proposition, particularly given his outspoken disposition, but the reality is they've been a big hit and a new way of bringing the game closer to the fans. He's now said he'll donate all the sums raised from the streams to charity. Good effort.
Good luck for Nous!
Bayern Munich sending the love to their own.
Morocco set to win the battle of the fans in the stands
Morocco fans are going to outnumber the Spain fans in the stands today, having requested 5,000 tickets, but picking up a lot more of the neutral seats.
Ticketless fans outside the Education City stadium
Our man in Qatar says there is a slightly unpleasant vibe going on outside the ground ahead of Morocco vs Spain,with huge numbers of ticketless fans milling around. Hopefully everything stays calm.
Goals, goals, goals
Spain have scored nine so far at the World Cup, but that feels slightly skewed by the ridiculous 7-0 against Costa Rica. Against both Germany and Japan, Spain as is more normal for them struggled to turn possession into onion-bag busting, notching only once in each game.
Morocco for their part started goalless, against Croatia, but have since scored twice in both their next matches, against Belgium and Canada, for a total of four.
The highest scoring team at the World Cup so far is England, with 12, after they put six past Iran and then carried on scoring, though that includes the three they scored against Senegal.
Roaringly goodhat from this Morocco fan.
Sadly, the Atlas Lion, also known as the Barbery Lion is in fact extinct. It was a subspecies that lived along the North Coast of Africa from Morocco to Egypt.
Why did Morocco goalkeeper Bono disappear before Belgium vs Morocco?
One of the little curiosities of this World Cup was the sudden disappearance of Morocco keeper Bono before the game against Belgium, withMunir Mohamedi needing to suddenly stand in for him.
Bono HAD been there for the anthem, but wasn't there for the team photo. What had happened? He was suffering from vertigo but had hoped to feel fit by kick-off.
He's in the team today and fingers crossed he's feeling fine.
Spain start almost the same as against Costa Rica
Spain start with the same XI as against Costa Rica, with the exception of the entrance of Llorente. Azpilicueta has taken a knock and Carvajal is out of sorts.
Spain starting XI!
Luis Enrique has made his choices!
Spain starting XI
Unai Simón; Marcos Llorente, Rodrigo, Laporte, Jordi Alba; Gavi, Busquets, Pedri; Ferran Torres, Asensio andDani Olmo.
Spain is one of the best teams in the world. We have already come up against some of the best teams in the world. Technically, they are a team that offers play, that likes to have possession and that is virtually unbeatable on this kind of pitch. The Spaniards have had big ambitions from the start of the competition. They have a great coach, they have great players and they are used to playing this type of competition. We are going to play with our qualities and our values, without having any complexes. The worst mistake you can make is to have complexes.
A Morocco fan getting their head shaved and painted in the traditional Souq Waqif market in Doha ahead of the match against Spain. The atmosphere there looks fantastic.
The green star on Morocco's flagrepresents the five pillars of Islam, while the red represents the blood of ancestors and unity.
Spain's possible line-up and player analysis
Paul Rudder has done a deep dive into the Spain squad and here's his look at Luis Enrique's possible team, plus analysis of the players.
Morocco starting side
Very much enjoying Morocco's graphics for their starting XI tweets. CoachWalid Regragui looks pretty boss too.
تشكيلة المنتخب الوطني أمام منتخب إسبانيا translates as The national team squad against Spain.
Coach Regragui makes just one change, the return of Amallah, meaning Sabiri misses out. Ambrabat is in the side, even though he had injury niggles ahead of the game.
WORLD CUP 2022
Morocco vs Spain odds and predictions: who is the favorite in the World Cup 2022 game?
Despite the pundits reckoning this is going to a tight affair between Morocco and Spain, the bookies heavily favour Luis Enrique's outfit, giving prices in the -190 to -205 range. Morocco are long odds to win it actually, +575 to +600. Check out the full analysis from Fidel.
Morocco starting XI
Nice and early fromRegragui, who has announced his starting team for the Spain game.
Bono; Achraf, Saiss, Aguerd, Mazraoui; Amrabat, Ounahi, Amallah; Ziyech, Boufal and En-Nesyri.
6 December at the World Cup
All the details on today's action at the World Cup 2022 in Qatar from Fidel Rubio, with two games on today, this one, Morocco vs Spain, and Portugal vs Switzerland in the 2 p.m. ET game.
Who is the referee for Morocco vs Spain round of 16 game in the World Cup 2022?
The referee for today's match between Morocco and Spain is none other than Fernando Rapallini from Argentina. The 44-year-old whistler has been a top flight ref since 2011 and made it onto the FIFA lists in 2014, with his first international fixture being Chile against El Salvador.
Rapallini works in the family business which design and maintain swimming pools. He likes to prepare for games in the dressing room by playing punk rock - here's hoping assistant refs compatriots Juan Pablo Belatti and Diego Bonfa, and fourth official Raphael Claus of Brazil are big fans.
Sofyan Amrabat solid as a rock
Sofyan Amrabat, Morcco central defender, is proving to be one of the sensations of this World Cup, for his physical strength, sheer effort, tackling skill and sublime passing. Spain have been warned.
Spanish doubts up front
At this point, we still don't know Luis Enrique's starting eleven, although it seems clear that there will be few changes with respect to his standard eleven, the one that he put out against Costa Rica.
Sarabia, Pino, Ansu Fati andWilliams are clearly at a disadvantage, while Olmo, Ferran, Asensio and Morata are in pole position.
But of those four, only threefit in the team. One will be a substitute. Olmo has played practically everything and is a permanent fixture. The rest are playing for two places. If the doubt is up front, Luis Enriquewill have to decide between Morata and Asensio, and if it is on the wing, between Asensio and Ferran. Who doesLuis Enrique go for?
Pedri vital for Spain
Pedri has turned into a key player for Barcelona and Spain, but what's interesting is that he was out with injury for much of 2021-22.
Since then both Xavi at Barcelona and Luis Enrique with Spain have tried to give the player time to recover, in particular taking him off when he's not required. Exactly what happened against Costa Rica in the opening game, with Spain cruising to a 7-0 win.
But against Germany, with Spain drawing and Japan, which Spain lost 2-1 and could have gone out if Germany hadn't done them a favour against Costa Rica, Luis Enrique kept Pedri playing for the whole game.
Expect the same today - if Spain can get into a comfortable position, expect him to come off after 60 or 70 minutes. If things are tight, he'll be out there for 90 or even 120 minutes. Spain need Pedri.
Pelé still in hospital
Pelé, who is currently hospitalised, said he'd be watching the game against South Korea, so hopefully the samba football gave him a lift. We've got the latest on Pelé in our live feed.
Brazil vs South Korea summary: score, goals, highlights | Qatar World Cup 2022
Brazil rout South Korea
In case you missed it, here's what happened yesterday between Brazil and South Korea.In a devastating first half Brazil blew the Asian side away, scoring four and looking like they might get eight. They've got Croatia next, who must be at least a little worries about their chances.
WORLD CUP 2022
Morocco vs Spain times, how to watch on TV, stream online, World Cup 2022
How to tune into Morocco vs Spain
Here's all the details on how to follow the game on TV or your device.
You can watch Morocco vs Spain live stream on FuboTV (free trial available)
How Spain got here
Spain would have struggled to start the 2022 World Cup better, putting Costa Rica to the sword with a 7-0 tonking, where it seemed they could score every time they came forward.
But against a solid, disruptive German side the usual Spanish problem of struggling to turn possession into goals reared its head for Luis Enrique's side and they had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Against Japan, Spain started brightly and looked as if they were going to stroll into the last-16 as group winners, particularly after Morata's opening goal. But the second half turned everything on its head, with Japan coming bursting out and turning the game around with two goals in 3 minutes, going on to win the game and the group (though they've now gone out on penalties against Croatia).
At one point Spain were actually going out of the World Cup, but Germany's goals ensured Costa Rica slipped back into third spot and allowed Spain to breathe again.
How Morocco got here
Morocco won their group, drawing with Croatia 0-0 (the Croats finished second), beating Belgium 2-0 and coming out 2-1 winners over Canada.
Their goals so far have come from Romain Saiss and Zakaria Aboukhal against Belgium, while En-Nesyri and Hakim Ziyech notched against Canada.
Morocco take on Spain live
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the World Cup Round of 16 match between Morocco and Spain. The game is taking place at Education City Stadium, which has an official capacity of 44,667.
Whoever goes through today will meet the winner of Portugal and Switzerland (played later today) in the quarter-finals and then the winner of England vs France in an exceptionally tasty semi-final. If either side make it they'll be facing one of Netherlands - Argentina and Croatia - Brazil in the final.
But all that lies ahead... today sees a fascinating match-up between neighbouring countries, who are separated by just eight and a half miles across the Strait of Gibraltar at its narrowest point, yet lie on different continents. But the majority of the Moroccan players ply their trade in Europe's big leagues with four playing in Spain, and representatives at PSG (Achraf Hakimi), Chelsea (Hakim Ziyech) and Bayern Munich (Noussair Mazraoui).
Morocco won their group, coming through unbeaten and only conceding one goal, and an own goal at that, in their 2-1 win over Canada. They handily beat Belgium 2-0 and drew 0-0 with Croatia. And they face a Spain side who went from sublime (a 7-0 win over Costa Rica) to stifled (a 1-1 draw with Germany) to shocked (a 2-1 defeat to Japan) and ended up coming second in their group to set up this unexpected tie, the Lions of Atlas must fancy their chances of winning their first ever knockout stage game at a World Cup.