FIFA World Cup: Bono stars as Morocco become only Muslim country to advance to next stage

Bono saved three penalties

By Web Desk
December 06, 2022
Morocco will either face Portugal or Switzerland in the quarter-final — Twitter/Football Tweetes

Yassine Bono shined 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.

The fact that Morocco became the first Muslim country to qualify for the quarter-finals was widely celebrated among the Muslim community.

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.

Before the break, Morocco took a free kick into the area, and Sergio Busquets deflected Achraf Hakimi's cross to Sofiane Boufal, who outran his defender and crossed, but Aguerd missed from about six yards away.

Morocco was the team that produced the game's greatest opportunities in the first half, despite Spain having the majority of possession.

Two minutes into the second half, Spain won a free-kick on the right as Ferran Torres nutmegged Noussair Mazraoui and was fouled by the defender.

Spain took the free kick short, but Youssef En-Nesyri successfully headed it away after it was whipped in.

Spain's first opportunity to score came in the 55th minute when Marco Asensio delivered a free-kick to Dani Olmo, who struck from the left side but Bono palmed it away.

In the 70th minute, Alvaro Morata, a substitute, was spotted in the box by Dani Olmo, but Nayef Aguerd made a strong tackle on the veteran.

In the 78th minute, Dani Olmo cut the loose ball outside the area after Jordi Alba's cross was headed away.

Morata was at the back post when Carlos Soler's free kick in stoppage time arrived, and the Atletico Madrid player headed over the crossbar.

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.

Morocco will either face Portugal or Switzerland in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup.