World Cup 2018 - Qualifying matches

Spain 2 – Morocco 2

Spain: De Gea; Dani Carvajal, Piqué, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Thiago (Marco Asensio 73’); Iniesta, Isco, David Silva (Rodrigo 83’); Diego Costa (Iago Aspas 73’). 4-2-3-1.
Morocco: Munir; Dirar, Benatia, Da Costa, Achraf; Boussoufa, El Ahmadi; Amrabat Belhanda (Fayçal Fajr 63’), Ziyech (Bouhaddouz 84’); Boutaib (En-Nesyri 71’). 4-2-3-1.

0-1. 13. Boutaib. Won ball in midfield and ran on to shoot under De Gea.
1-1. 19. Isco. Fired shot into roof of net after Iniesta laid ball back.
1-2. 81. En-Nesyri. Got above defence to head Fajr corner wide of keeper.
2-2. 91. Iago Aspas. Back-heel flick past Munir from Carvajal centre.

Yellow cards: El Ahmadi 21’, Amrabat 28’, Da Costa 30’, Boussoufa 30`, Munir 88’, Achraf 90’.

An unexpected series of events in the dying minutes of Spain’s final group game catapulted them into first place in their table, and they will now play Russia in the first knock-out round next Sunday. Trailing 1-2 to Morocco going in to injury time, and with Portugal leading Iran in the other group game, Fernando Hierro’s side were almost certainly going to finish second to their neighbours. However substitute Iago Aspas flicked in Caravajal’s cross to level the scores, initially ruled out for offside before VAR overturned the decision, and almost at the same time Iran equalised with a VAR approved penalty, all of which took Spain above Portugal on the number of goals scored. Although Morocco were already out of the comepetion, they took the lead early on, Boutaib winning the ball off a hesitant Ramos and Iniesta in midfield and running on to beat De Gea. Isco made it all square soon afterwards following good work by Iniesta, but Málaga’s En-Nesyri headed in Faycal Fajr’s corner to put the North Africans back in front with ten minutes to go.