Morocco becomes only Muslim country to reach World Cup quarters after stunning win over Spain

Mushtaq A Subhani

Morocco crushed Spain to qualify for the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals for the first time in history. They defeated the former World Cup champions and the favourites 3-0 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw at Doha on December 6.

They are the only Muslim country, and also the first African, to move into the quarter-finals stage after Achraf Hakimi struck the decisive penalty to send Spain crashing out.

In shootout, Spain’s Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missed penalties whereas for Morocco, Abdelhamid Sabiri and Hakim Ziyech successfully converted penalties into goals before Madrid-born Hakimi netted  against his birth-country to ignite wild celebrations by the fans who intensely backed Arab African country during the match.

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who was born in Canada and plays for Sevilla in Spain, saved two of Spain’s penalties during the shootout.

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