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A hole without a purpose: Morocco sent Spain to take stock Israel today

2022-12-06T19:39:45.084Z

As many times in the past, "La Roja" went all out for their style, moved the ball non-stop, and paid dearly for it. that will go down in the history books



Morocco and Spain have a complex relationship.

Throughout most of history, relations were friendly, but they also knew tense periods because Spain holds two territorial enclaves adjacent to Morocco and the Mediterranean Sea, Malia and Ceuta, and Morocco demanded the transfer of the cities to its ownership.

Moroccan fans celebrate in Marrakesh historic qualification for the World Cup quarterfinals // Credit: Nir Wolff

In football, the rivalry is much more modest and includes three past meetings, two 61 years ago and one in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where Spain equalized in the 93rd minute (Iago Espas) and prevented Morocco from qualifying for the round of 16.

Morocco was very impressive in the group stage, especially defensively.

They didn't concede a goal against two strong European teams that reached the semi-finals in Russia (Belgium and Croatia), easily defeated Canada and came out on top with seven points.

Coach Walid Ragheraghi, a 47-year-old Moroccan born in France, who collaborated as a player with his uncle Awat in Racing Santander, changed the team after eight last August, brought back Hakim Zaish from retirement and created a team with a very clear playing style.

Aggressive team defensive play in a central third in a 4:1:4:1 formation, with a fine defensive quartet led by two great defenders - captain Roman Saiss (arrived this season at Besiktas from Wolves) and Naif Ager from West Ham, who are joined by two high-quality and smart defenders, Nussier Mazrawi and Ashraf Hakimi .

Add to that the amazing crowd of the Moroccans, who in their passion and songs remind the crowd of Argentina, and we will get a strong team that is very difficult to subdue.

Morocco has an amazing crowd,

The playing style of the two teams is opposite and actually quite suitable for one team for the other.

The Spaniards with an emphasis on moving the ball, often ineffective and pointless.

The Moroccans, on the other hand, give up the ball (33% against the Belgians, 35% against the Croatians), received only three corners in the group stage and play direct football to the front three.

Indeed, the game developed as expected.

The conductor was born in Madrid

Spain has the ball without purpose (one threat and it's not on target in the first half), the Moroccans try to get through transitions, mainly through Soufian Boufal on the left wing, but without a significant threat on Unai Simon's goal.

And so we finished 90 minutes, with four threats and four corners (as expected, all to Spain) by both teams together and a rather predictable overtime, which at the end of the evening led to a dramatic penalty shootout.

Busquets.

Spain screwed up at the moment of truth, photo: Reuters

A duel from the white point is a whole world, it is not related to the ability of the teams in the game, certainly in such a stressful and stressful tournament.

The mental load imposed on the players is unbearable, and the ability to withstand pressure, isolate yourself from the situation and relax, is much more important than the style and technique of kicking.

Yesterday we saw the Japanese, who were superior to the Croatians during the game, simply collapse and give away three penalties to Dominik Libakovic, who finished the evening as a Croatian national hero.

Tonight we got a similar script.

The Spaniards did not withstand the pressure, the Moroccans scored three times, and the two great heroes of the event were actually those who are related to Spain professionally and mentally.

The first is Yassin Bono, a 31-year-old goalkeeper born in Montreal, who returned with his Moroccan parents to Casablanca as a child and started his career in Vidal Casablanca, but since the age of 21 he has been playing in Spain (Atletico Madrid, Girona, Zaragoza and today in Seville), and he stopped the kicks of Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets and allowed the second great hero - Ashraf Hakimi - born in Madrid, to perform a perfect Pananka and send Morocco to the quarter-finals for the first time in history and the Moroccan fans to celebrate wildly into the night.

And here we once again received proof of why national team football is the greatest thing there is, because even after a game from heaven and with no theoretical chance of a field goal, we received unforgettable moments that will forever be etched in the history books, and this is exactly the essence of the World Cup.

Bono comforts Simone.

The heroes of the evening, each from his own angle, photo: AFP

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-12-06

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