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Winners & Losers

Spain are out! Winners, losers and ratings as Hakimi becomes a Morocco hero with history-making World Cup Panenka

20:59 SAST 2022/12/06
Achraf Hakimi Spain GFX
It took a Panenka penalty to secure the African side their first ever World Cup quarter-final, and leaves Luis Enrique with big questions to answer

A win not just for Morocco, but for the whole of Africa, and for the whole of the Arab world. For the first time, the Atlas Lions are into the quarter-finals of the World Cup, and boy do they deserve to be.

What a shift they put in here, defending heroically for 120 minutes to hold Spain to a goalless draw in Doha, before triumphing 3-0 in a tense penalty shootout.

Achraf Hakimi, Madrid born and Morocco's star player, was the man to seal it, the Paris Saint-Germain star staying cool amid the maelstrom to score with an outrageous 'Panenka' and clinch a famous victory. How they celebrated.

Earlier, goalkeeper Yassine Bounou had saved from both Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets, with Pablo Sarabia striking his penalty against the post as Spain suffered more shootout heartache. They were beaten on spot-kicks in the last 16 by Russia four years ago, and lost the semi-final of the European Championship to Italy last year in the same manner.

Luis Enrique's side dominated the game itself, but were unable to turn possession into chances. They hit the post right at the end of extra-time through Sarabia, but could have few complaints about the outcome having managed only one shot on target in 120 minutes.

GOAL runs through the winners and losers from a dramatic last-16 clash...

  • Yassine Bounou Morocco 2022

    The Winners

    Achraf Hakimi:

    It had to be him, didn't it? To sink Spain, it just had to be the player who was born in Spain and who spent 14 years at Real Madrid before heading off to further his career across Europe. Hakimi's performance here was remarkable enough, but his winning moment is one that will be replayed for years. To stay that calm, calm enough to produce a Panenka, in an atmosphere such as this, after a game such as this? Ridiculous. The PSG man is already one of the best full-backs in world football, but he has only enhanced his reputation at this World Cup. He was sensational here, defensively perfect and full of running throughout. A top-level display from a top-level footballer, capped with one of the great penalty kicks of all time. Panenka himself would have been proud.

    Moroccan aggression:

    The tone for this game was set inside the opening 60 seconds. As Spain looked to secure possession immediately, the ball was worked from Aymeric Laporte, the left centre-back, to Jordi Alba, the left-back. Alba took a touch before returning the ball to Laporte, but in doing so took a clobbering from Hakim Ziyech, the Chelsea man acting as the most unlikely of enforcers. The message was clear; you will have the ball, but don't expect a comfortable night. And from the first minute to the 120th, Morocco did themselves proud. Nobody summed up their approach better than Sofyan Amrabat, the Fiorentina holding midfielder, whose aggression, energy and relentless discipline was contagious. He and Azzedine Ounahi, a 22-year-old who plays with Angers, were brilliant at closing down space and protecting their backline. Hakimi and Noussair Mazraoui were outstanding at full-back, Ziyech worked like he's never worked before, while centre-backs Romain Saiss and Nayef Aguerd repelled everything that came into their penalty area. Aguerd left the field injured and Saiss was on one leg by the end. They worked themselves to a standstill. Whether they'll be fit for the quarter-finals remains to be seen, but that's a worry for tomorrow morning. Tonight is the night of their lives, and they deserve the chance to enjoy every second of it.

    Yassine 'Bono' Bounou:

    Insert U2 joke here, I guess? It felt from a long way out that this was going to be a game in which one of the goalkeepers would turn out to be the hero, and it was Morocco's No.1 who grabbed the headlines with two crucial saves in the shootout. Having seen Pablo Sarabia, brought on at the end of extra-time specifically to take a penalty, strike the post, Bono denied both Carlos Soler and the great Sergio Busquets, twice reading the Spaniards' intentions, twice plunging to his right, twice sending his fans into raptures. As Hakimi clipped in the winning spot-kick, the place exploded. The Moroccans ran straight to their goalkeeper, and no wonder. The World Cup is for heroes, and the Sevilla star - yes, he has a Spanish connection too - was certainly one here.

  • Luis Enrique Sergio Busquets Spain GFX

    The Losers

    Spain's penalties:

    Sometimes, it really isn't your day. Shootouts have been pretty cruel to the Spaniards in recent years. Four years ago in Russia, they were eliminated by the hosts in the last 16 after Koke and Iago Aspas failed from 12 yards. And last year, they came up short after a pulsating European Championship semi-final against Italy at Wembley. Dani Olmo and Alvaro Morata were the villains on that occasion. Third time unlucky, then. This time around, there were three players to share the blame. First Sarabia, brought on solely for the shootout, sent his effort against the post, then Soler, who looked like a deer in the headlights walking forward, produced a tame effort which was saved by Bono. Unai Simon, the Spain goalkeeper, gave them hope with a save of his own from Badr Benoun, but next up was captain Sergio Busquets and he, like Soler, failed to beat Bono, leaving Hakimi to break Spanish hearts.

    Spain's attack:

    There was something strangely fitting about the manner of Spain's exit, drawing a blank even when given three penalties to get themselves on the board. After all, they'd barely looked like scoring for the previous 120 minutes or more, so why would it change now? It feels remarkable to think that this is a team that began its World Cup campaign with a seven-goal win over Costa Rica, just a couple of weeks ago. Since that masterclass, the Spaniards have looked everything their critics feared they would be; a team of fine technicians, but one completely devoid of a cutting edge. Their three games since have brought more than 2000 passes, an average of 75 per cent possession, 32 shots but only two goals. And it is that, rather than bad luck or 'the lottery' of a shootout, which has cost Luis Enrique's side. They dominated the ball here, but rarely did they look like finding a way through. Their best chance of the 90 minutes fell to Marco Asensio, who smashed into the side-netting, but other than that Bono was underworked in the Moroccan goal. Sarabia did almost win it in the very last minute of extra-time, but saw his volley strike the outside of the post. It would have been cruel on Morocco had it gone in. Spain must go back to the drawing board and find a way to turn talent into efficiency.

    Luis Enrique:

    We all eagerly await the Spain boss' latest Twitch stream. Luis Enrique wore a wry smile at the end here, but he must know that this goes down as a huge failure for his team, and for himself. They have been one of the most consistent international sides around in the past three or four years, but the promise of the Euros was washed away here. They were so determined to dominate the ball, they forget to go and win the game. They have the talent to regroup and go again. The likes of Gavi, Pedri, Dani Olmo, Ansu Fati, Nico Williams and Alejandro Balde are all highly-gifted young players, while Pau Torres, Eric Garcia and others should start to play a greater role too. But this was surely the end of Busquets, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jordi Alba at this level, and it would be a surprise if the likes of Koke, Sarabia, Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Morata were around much longer too. A change is coming in Spain's national team, but will it include the coach?

  • Rodri Spain 2022

    Spain Ratings: Defence

    Unai Simon (7/10):

    Did what he had to do, though almost gave his supporters kittens when nearly caught in possession in stoppage-time. Big save from Cheddira in extra time, and kept out Benoun's penalty in the shootout.

    Marcos Llorente (6/10):

    Lost his battle with Boufal in the first half. Improved after the break. Good energy, not enough quality.

    Rodri (8/10):

    Saw so much of the ball it felt ridiculous at times. Unflustered defensively.

    Aymeric Laporte (8/10):

    Like his Manchester City team-mate next to him, he had the ball constantly. Booked for a late challenge and got back well to deny Cheddiri when the forward broke clean through.

    Jordi Alba (6/10):

    A couple of nice passes in behind but looked rattled by Ziyech every time Morocco attacked.

  • Pedri Spain 2022

    Midfield

    Sergio Busquets (6/10):

    Played at his own pace as ever. Neat and tidy in a team that dominated the ball. Missed his spot-kick.

    Gavi (6/10):

    Tried to make things happen but didn't influence the game and was replaced just after the hour mark.

    Pedri (6/10):

    Get it, pass it. Get it, pass it. Couldn't find a key ball but kept taking responsibility.

  • Ferran Torres Spain 2022

    Attack

    Ferran Torres (5/10):

    Competed gamely but was second best against Mazraoui throughout.

    Dani Olmo (6/10):

    Full of graft, and his set-pieces were a threat, but like the others, he was unable to cut through the Moroccan defence in open play.

    Marco Asensio (5/10):

    Missed the best chance of the first half for Spain, blasting into the side-netting. A few smart runs but he was simply not the focal point needed against a packed defence.

  • Luis Enrique Spain 2022

    Subs & Manager

    Alvaro Morata (5/10):

    Added something with his movement. Poor header at the end of 90 minutes, and an even worse attempt at a pass in a great position in extra time.

    Carlos Soler (5/10):

    Didn't add much that wasn't in the Spain midfield already. Looked timid, and never more so than when taking his penalty.

    Nico Williams (5/10):

    Tried to add thrust down the right, but didn't.

    Alejandro Balde (5/10):

    On for Alba. Provided fresh legs and nothing else.

    Ansu Fati (5/10):

    No impact.

    Pablo Sarabia (4/10):

    On to take a penalty, managed to whip in a great ball and miss a good chance in the space of his two minutes on the field, before missing in the shootout. Ouch.

    Luis Enrique (5/10):

    Team played nice football but had no killer instinct. Subs didn't really change anything. Said his players had taken "1000 penalties" for their clubs, but it didn't show.