Spain 2-2 Morocco: 5 Talking Points as Spain top group ahead of Portugal, World Cup 2018
In a night filled with drama, Spain drew 2-2 with Morocco in their final World Cup Group B encounter at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Monday. The result saw them top their group after Portugal failed to beat Iran as they drew 1-1.
Khalid Boutaib gave Morocco the lead in the first half before Isco equalised just five minutes later. Youssef En-Nesyri then gave the Africans the lead again before substitute Iago Aspas scored a stoppage-time goal (awarded by VAR) in the 91st minute.
Here are the major talking points from the game.
#1 Morocco take an early lead to flip the script on relaxed Spain
If anything, Spain were guilty of being a little too casual when the match kicked off. Fernando Hierro may have asked his players to take it easy to avoid any bookings (lest they prove to be costly mistakes in the next round) but La Furia Roja were far too relaxed.
With nothing to lose, Morocco played a 4-1-4-1 formation with Khalid Boutaib leading the line and both Younes Belhanda and captain Moubarak Boussoufa also stepping forward to press Spain's defence when they had the ball high up the pitch.
The trick worked. A slight miscommunication between Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos saw neither player move towards the ball following a bad touch from the former Barcelona midfielder.
It was all the invitation Boutaib needed and he pounced on the loose ball, left a flailing Ramos behind, and slotted the ball between David De Gea's legs to give Morocco a 1-0 lead.
He almost doubled the lead too from a throw-in that caught Spain napping again but this time De Gea was able to make the save - coincidentally the first save he made in the tournament.