Bono stars as Morocco become only Muslim country to reach World Cup 2022 quarterfinals

The Nation  |  Dec 07, 2022

AL RAYYAN          -        Yassine Bono excelled with the gloves as Morocco beat Spain by 3-0 on penalties after a 0-0 draw to book their spot in the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Education City Stadium on Tuesday. Bono saved the first three penalties to guide the African side to a historic victory over the 2010 world champions. In the eleventh minute, Gavi fouled Sofiane Boufal, giving Morocco a free kick with a good shooting opportunity. Hakimi curved it, but it soared over the bar. In the 21st minute, the African team was awarded a free kick on the right wing, but Hakim Ziyech’s cross struck the first player, and the ball was cleared. Marco Asensio’s run onto a ball into the left side of the box in the 27th minute gave Spain its first real opportunity of the game. He allowed it to bounce a few times before firing a shot into the side netting. The biggest opportunity of the opening 35 minutes belonged to Morocco when Noussair Mazraoui stole the ball from Ferran Torres approximately 30 yards from the goal and tried his luck, but Simon stopped his fierce shot. Both the teams continued to attack each other’s goals but failed to convert a single goal till the end of the normal time – 90 minutes. The first half of the extra time belonged to Spain, but Morocco had the last opportunity as Azzedine Ounahi fed Walid Cheddira in the box, but he shot it straight at the legs of Unai Simon. The 2010 world champions attacked with all they had in the second half of extra time, but the African side defended their heart out. The last kick of the match was Pablo Sarabia’s shot, which hit the post and went out for a goal kick. Spain missed their first three penalties as the North African side beat them by 3-0 on penalties after a 0-0 draw. The fact that Morocco became the first Muslim country to qualify for the quarter-finals was widely celebrated among the Muslim community.

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