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FIFA World Cup 2022: Morocco vs Spain

Spain head into Tuesday’s last-16 clash against Morocco as favourites but the Atlas Lions will sense that they can pull off an upset after an electrifying start to their World Cup campaign.

Group F topper Morocco will clash with Spain, the runners-up of Group E. It was shocking for Spain to finish second in their group. But, Japan had a dream run in the group stages and defeated Germany and Spain to finish on top. However, now that Japan’s world cup campaign has ended with a defeat against Croatia in penalty shoot-outs, Spain would like to take the Group E flag ahead. In a group that had Belgium, the North Africans emerged as the toppers by being undefeated (two wins and one draw).

Morocco will be desperate to continue their fairytale 2022 journey, especially as they have never previously reached the quarterfinal. The only other African team that got into the Round of 16, Senegal, have been crushed by England 3-0. So, now, the Atlas Lions want to better their world cup records. Their best so far came in 1986 when their campaign ended in the Round of 16. Walid Regragui’s boys also look to break the record of highest number of consecutive wins at the world cup by any African nation. At present, Cameroon hold the record (five times) while Morocco stand as a close second (four).

Some may view Spain coming in second place as a gift in disguise given that they would have faced Croatia in the round of 16, but Spain are fully aware of how challenging this game would be. Spain was ousted from the FIFA World Cup 2018 in the round of 16, but Luis Enrique is aware of this. Spain have never experienced back-to-back eliminations at this level of the championship, and their nine goals in the group stage were a joint-highest total with England.

The Morocco vs Spain match will be played on December 6 at 08:30 PM (Indian time) in the Education City Stadium, Ar Rayyan.

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