It turned out to be an action-packed Tuesday night as Morocco stunned Spain in a tense penalty shootout and Portugal smashed six goals past Switzerland to set up their quarterfinal clash on 10th December.
Morocco vs Spain
Spain entered the match against Morocco as the favourites to win as they had quality attacking players in their ranks and also had an experienced defense to see them through. But they faced a resilient Morocco to splash water on all their hopes. La Furia Roja dominated possession in the first half of the match but it was Morocco that looked the more dangerous in attack. The story was the same in the second half as well but Spain did produce some good chances, which they failed to convert. Even 30 minutes of extra time couldn’t break the deadlock between the two sides and they had to go into the penalty shootouts to decide the outcome of the match.
The penalty shootout produced a shocking result as Spain missed their first three penalties, two of which were taken by the experienced Sergio Busquets and Pablo Sarabia, whereas Morocco converted three of the four shots they took to register a vital win. It was Achraf Hakimi who scored the winning penalty for Morocco and it turned out to be a memorable win for them.
Portugal vs Switzerland
The next match between Portugal and Switzerland didn’t go as close. In fact, it turned out to he a totally one-sided contest as the Selecao Das Quinas smashed six goals past the Swiss team. Star Portugues forward Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for this match but that didn’t effect Portugal’s performance in any way.
Goncalo Ramos was the star of the show for Portugal as he scored a hat-trick. The very talented Rafael Leao also scored a goal while veteran defender Pepe and versatile full-back Raphael Guerreiro also chipped in with a goal each. For Switzerland, centre-back Manuel Akanji was the only scorer as he converted a corner in the 58th minute of the match. The game had gone out of Switzerland’s reach as Portugal had already scored four of the six goals they netted in the match by then.
Such a strong performance puts them in good stead going into the quarter-final clash against Morocco. But Morocco are also a resilient team and they are expected to deliver a strong performance once again.