December 7: Morocco kept the World Cup dreams of the Arab world alive as they eliminated fancied Spain in a penalty shootout on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals.
According to Reuters, Morocco became the first Arab nation to advance to the last eight, ensuring a breakthrough for the region in the first global tournament in the Middle East, and also became the fourth African side to go this far in World Cup history.
Morocco, who edged Spain 3-0 in the shootout after a 0-0 draw at the end of two hours of energy-sapping action, now have a chance to become both the Arab world and Africa's first-ever semi-finalists if they continue to use the overwhelming support that has backed them through an impressive array of results, added the news agency.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that Spain failed to convert any of their three penalties, with goalkeeper Yassine Bounou brilliantly saving two. That left Paris St-Germain's Achraf Hakimi - born and raised in Madrid no less - to win it with his nerveless spot-kick and spark jubilant scenes in the stands.
Morocco will next face Portugal in the quarter-final at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium.