DOWNLOAD HIGHLIGHTS: Spain 2 – 2 Morocco [2018 World Cup Highlights]
Fernando Hierro’s side finish above Portugal in Group B after a 2-2 draw against Morocco in Kaliningrad.
Spain booked a last-16 World Cup clash with hosts Russia after a last-gasp 2-2 draw against already eliminated Morocco in Kaliningrad.
The 2010 champions started Monday on top of Group B but seemed certain to slip below their Iberian rivals in the final table as both matches entered stoppage-time with Portugal and Morocco leading.
Spain went behind when Andres Iniesta and captain Sergio Ramos somehow allowed Khalid Boutaib to seize upon a loose ball and run clear to score Morocco’s first goal at the finals since 1998.
Iniesta soon made amends, though, skipping through the Morocco defence to set up Isco for a quickfire leveller, with La Roja unable to break down their opponents despite dominating.
When Morocco substitute Youssef En-Nesyri got up highest to thump home a brilliant header from a Faycal Fajr corner with nine minutes to go, Herve Renard’s men looked set to claim a memorable victory.
But after another substitute, Iago Aspas, tucked in a superbly improvised finish that survived a lengthy VAR review for offside, while Iran struck a late penalty, La Roja somehow finished top of the group.
Spain showed signs of their bewitching best in possession but Fernando Hierro’s side must show serious improvement in the knockout stages if they have ambitions to claim their second World Cup.