On Tuesday, Morocco defeated Spain on penalties (0-0 in 120 minutes). Fans are overjoyed to witness the first time the Atlas Lions will get featured in a World Cup quarterfinal.
Hundreds gathered outside of the stadium to sing national and football chants, posing happily for the cameras. This particular match felt like a home game for the Atlas Lions, with their supporters vastly outnumbering the Spanish fans.
Portugal wins against Switzerland
Coach Fernando Santos dropped Cristiano Ronaldo from the starting line-up for Portugal's match against Switzerland on Tuesday, December 6, during the Round of 16. The decision came a day after the coach expressed frustration about his team captain's attitude towards their last game, after he reacted irately to being substituted against South Korea.
Goncalo Ramos became star of the night as he smashed a stunning hat-trick for Portugal while Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao scored one goal each, defeating Switzerland.
With Portugal dominating over Switzerland 6-1 in the final Round of 16 match, the full roster for the quarterfinals of the biggest soccer tournament in the world is decided.
Knockout Stage / Round of 16 - Results
- December 3 (Sat)
- Netherlands 3 - United States 1
December 4 (Sun)
- Argentina 2 - Australia 1
- France 3 - Poland 1
December 5 (Mon)
- England 3 - Senegal 0
- Croatia 1 (3) - Japan 1 (1)
December 6 (Tue)
- Brazil 4 - South Korea 1
- Morocco 0 (3) - Spain 0 (0)
December 7 (Wed)
- Portugal 6 - Switzerland 1
December 9 (Fri)
December 10 (Sat)
- Netherlands vs Argentina
- Morocco vs Portugal
December 11 (Sun)
*Dates according to UTC/GMT +8 timezone
Top teams like Belgium and Germany were already eliminated in the group stage, while the Round of 16 saw 2010 champions Spain sinking down after a loss to Morocco on penalties. Giants like Brazil, England, France and Portugal have punched their ticket to the last 8 with convincing results.
The nations that reached the quarterfinals now feel like they have a shot at making it to the final at the Lusail Stadium on Sunday, December 18.
From this point on, all eight teams will be just three wins away from winning the World Cup trophy.
Image: TSN, The Athletic