Qatar World Cup: 5 things we learned on Day 17 - Morocco roll and Swiss rolled

© Paul Myers/RFI

Morocco turned over Spain to move into the last eight for the first time. But there's no bliss for the Swiss. They're blitzed by a Portugal side not featuring Cristiano Ronaldo.

Déjà vu

On Day 15, the Japanese missed three of their penalties. And Spain followed fashion in their shootout against Morocco. The Morocco goalkeeper Bono saved two of them and one hit the post. The success allowed Morocco to reach the last eight for the first time and only the the fourth side from Africa after Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana to advance to the quarter-finals. They will play Portugal on Day 21 at the Al Thumama Stadium for a place in the semis and their own line in the history books.

Grit

“They stuck to the plan,” beamed Morocco coach Walid Regragui in praise of his players after their penalty shootout victory over Spain. “I told them it would exhaust them and we held out until the penalties where we knew we had one of the best goalkeepers in the world.” In truth, Morocco had enough chances to have won well before penalties but they did not take their opportunities. “There comes a point when teams from Africa have to go for it," Regragui added. “I’ve told the players this and told them why not win the World Cup even though it will be difficult because we’ve used a lot of energy but we’ve got heart.” Team nickname? The Atlas Lions.

All eyes on me

All eyes on me, please

Man shafted?


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