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As it happened: 2018 World Cup - Spain 2 Morocco 2

By Joseph Kizza

Added 25th June 2018 08:49 PM

Spain draw with Morocco to advance to the knockout stage

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Spain draw with Morocco to advance to the knockout stage

2018 WORLD CUP - FOCUS ON AFRICA

Live reporting by Joseph Kizza

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@joekizza

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GROUP B: SPAIN AND PORTUGAL PROGRESS

These were fine margins but Spain and Portugal are through to the knockout stage.

Iran and Morocco out of the competition.

Meanwhile, in a clash of Group A v Group B, Portugal will play Uruguay while Spain will face off with Russia at the next stage.

 

 

 

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  FULL TIME -  Spain  2  Morocco 2


Spain have done enough.

 

 

90min (+4)  -  Spain  2  Morocco 2

As it stands, Spain are through to the last 16.

The other end, Iran have levelled against Portugal in a nervy finale.

 

 

 

 

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  GOAL!  90min (+1)  -  Spain


After some deliberation, it is considered a goal!

Spain 2  Morocco 2

 

 

 

 

 

90min    Spain 1  Morocco 2

Iago Aspas has the ball in.

Wait, is it offside?

We shall have the video-assistant refereeing involved.

 

 

87min     Spain 1  Morocco 2

The Spaniards will advance, but of course this cannot be the way they would have wished to.

 

 

 

85min     Spain 1  Morocco 2

Clearly, the Atlas Lions are not going without a fight.

And what a way it will be for the north Africans to bow out of the competition!

Spain 1 Morocco 2

 

 

 

 

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  81min     GOAL! - Morocco


Wow!

Spain in trouble here. Substitute Youssef En-Nesyri punishes Spain with under 10 minues left.

Spain 1  Morocco 2

 

 

 

 

 

74min     Double substitution - Spain

Spain finally make some changes.

Iago Aspas will replace Diego Costa while Asensio is Thiago's replacement.

We are coming into the final 15 minutes of this game.

 

 

70min     Second time beckons

Morocco are still hanging on (or even perhaps going for the whole three points) but if they lose against Spain tonight, it will be just the second time that they have lost all of their group games.

The last time it happened was in 1994.

On the sidelines, coach Herve Renard is willing is men on.

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

 

67min     What next?

As Spain extinguish the threat that Morocco had transformed into this second half, let us look at what the next stage promises to be.

As it stands, the top of Group A (Uruguay) will meet with the second finisher in Group B (Spain). Inversely, the second finisher of Group A, hosts Russia will face with the winners of Group B, Portugal.

Well, that cannot be confirmed - yet.

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

63min     SUBSTITUTION - Morocco

Morocco make reforms. Faycal Fajr comes on in the place of Younes Belhanda.

This is the first change of the game.

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

61min      RONALDO MISSES PENALTY

Meanwhile, in the other Group B match, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to extend Portugal's slender lead over Iran after missing a penalty a little while ago.

The Real Madrid forward's side are still top of the group though as it stands.

Portugal have seven points, Spain five, Iran three and Morocco one.

 

 

58min      Morocco want upset

It is clear that Morocco  have returned with a more aggressive approach. Spain, despite their cute and deft passing game, are being given a good run for their money here.

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

 

53min      CLOSE!   - Morocco

Great intervention by Romain Saïss as Daniel Carvajal attempts to dip in a cross from the right corner.

Morocco have now been eliminated at the group stage in four of their five World Cup campaigns. The only time they progressesd was in 1986.

Spain 1 Morocco 1

 

 

49min      CLOSE!   - Morocco

Great save by Spain's Number One David de Gea.

The Manchester United goalie must intervene herE. He does, and with so much emphasis and determination to block the ball out of danger as Morocco captain Moubarak Boussoufa flies in a bid to connect.

Timely!

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

 

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      KICKOFF! Second half underway


Morocco get us underway here.

 

 

9:54pm      HALF TIME: Spain 1  Morocco 1

Spain have finished top of their group in three of the last four World Cups. Only in Brazil (2014) did they face an early exit.

The Spaniards have also won their final group game in each of the last eight World Cup tournaments, a run stretching back to 1986.

Here in Kaliningrad, they have 45 minutes to prove they still sit among the best.

 

 

 

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     HALF TIME! Spain 1  Morocco 1


An entertaining opening half that you wished didn't end has to do exactly that - end.

 

 

45min      CLOSE! Spain

He doesn't miss those.

Diego Costa, so often a prolific goal scorer, fails to connect here after yet another brilliant piece of work by Iniesta on the left.

The Spaniard, after making a spirited run forward, cuts a pass across Morocco's goalmouth but Costa misses under pressure.

Iniesta holds his head in disbelief. What an entertainer!

 

 

44min      A quick chance of guard

Oh my!

Portugal are back at the summit of Group H, after Ricardo Quaresma's 45th-minute goal.

 

 

39min      Spain top of Group B

As we approach half time, Spain are top of the group, with the other group game between Portugal and Iran still tied on 0-0.

As it stands, Spain will be through to the last 16.

 

 

36min      Spain 1  Morocco 1

Iniesta is such a danger on the left flank - his trickery, sharpness and invention are proving to be a thorn in the side for Morocco.

By the way, Spain have won three of their four World Cup matches against African opponents - losing one and netting 11 goals.

They have one in already here. Can they find another?

 

 

 

34min      'Calm down, calm down'!

Morocco's goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi, wearing sky blue tonight, gestures to his teammates to calm down once he easily collects a ball whipped in from a corner kick.

His side are nearly went ahead again a little ago, and they could fancy their chances now. The north Africans are saying something here: We are not going down without a fight.

 

 

30min      Clumsy! - Morocco

It iis a bit of a frosty affair here. Manuel da Costa is booked for clawing on Isco. But his captain, Moubarak Boussoufa is furious over the referee's decision to blow the whistle. That fury, however, lands him too in the book.

Careless!

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

27min      CLOSE! - Morocco

That should have been two for Morocco and two for Khalid Boutaïb, as the forward, once played through - outrunning Ramos - has de Gea to beat again.

But this time, the Spanish Number 1 puffs himself to block.

Close call!

Spain 1 Morocco 1

 

 

 

23min      Again - Spain need to avoid defeat

They have just managed to claw back into this game, and the Red Fury will feel they have the edge to take this one.

Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Isco are keeping the Moroccan back busy. They nearly fashion another breathrough, but timely intervention clears the danger.

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

 

 

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  19min      GOAL! - Spain


That was brilliant work ethic by Andres Iniesta to set up Isco for a swift response.

This is one topsy-turvy affair playing out inside the Kaliningrad Stadium.

Game on!

Spain 1  Morocco 1

 

 

 

 

 

15min      Tricky situation

The Spain are unbeaten in 22 matches in all competitions. They have won 15 and drawn seven -  scoring in each game.

Are they about to see that record brought to a heartbreaking end?

Spain 0  Morocco 1

 

 

 

 

 

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  14min      GOAL! - Morocco


Well, well, well. Now what next for Spain?

The Spaniards find themselves in murky waters as Khalid Boutaïb gives Morocco the lead with a spirited run.

 
It was a defensive error involving Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta, leaving Manchester United goalie David de Gea stranded - then beaten.

Are Spain becoming the architects of their own downfall?

Spain 0  Morocco 1

 

 

 

 

06min      Frosty encounter

The situation is going out of hand real quick here. It is becoming a very physical affair, with individuals going at each other.

Nordin N Amrabat is in the negative spotlight here after lunging at Isco and Ramos.

Offender and Ramos, also known for his outbursts on the pitch, breathe in each other's faces before being split for play to carry on.

 

 

 

05min      First corner - Spain

Thhe Red Fury, as they want to call themselves, have the privilege of taking the first corner of the game.

David Silva whips it in from the right corner, but Gerard Pique, who has a reputation in set pieces, is beaten to it.

 

 

03min      Bright start for Morocco

Thhe previous meetings between these sides were in a two-legged qualification play-off for the 1962 World Cup. Spain won the two games.

But tonight, despite playing for nothing, Morocco are showing they are no pushovers.

 

 

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      Spain 0  Morocco 0


The task for Spain is clear: Avoid defeat and you are through.

Referee Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan is the man in charge, and he allows the Spaniards to get the ball rolling with his whistle.

Game on!

 

 

8:58pm      Spain v Morocco ready

We are done with the preliminaries and so we should be getting done to some action.

 

 

 


8:53pm      LINEUPS - Morocco

Morocco have gone with the same formation. This should be interesting.

STARTING XI: Mohamedi, Dirar, da Costa, Saiss, Hakimi, El Ahmadi, Boussoufa, N Amrabat, Belhanda, Ziyech, Boutaib

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8:50pm      LINEUPS - Spain

The Spaniards are going with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

STARTING XI: De Gea, Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Alba, Busquets, Thiago Alcantara, Silva, Iniesta Isco, Diego Costa

 




8:45pm      Let's warm up

So how about some football, folks?

Spain take on Morocco in a bid to progress to the last 16. Morocco are only playing for pride now - tonight's will be their last game after suffering two group defeats.

The officials for tonight's match have warmed up and should be ready to take charge.

 

 

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