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Last African Standing;  Can Morocco Avoid Pain From Spain?

Gradually, the boys are been separated from the men. The big guns are smoking. The Round of 16 may have had its fair share of dramam but there had been no upset.

Will Morocco be the one to upstage one of the acclaimed powers? Despite the aura surrounding the World Cup, only seven countries ever won it.

Spain were the last of the seven winners, achieving their single win at South Africa 2010 and also becoming the first European team to win the World Cup outside Europe.

But the Group F winners Morocco are expected to be worthy challengers today. This will be their  second successive FIFA World Cup clash after that 0f Russia 2018 when they drew 2-2.

 Their only other encounters came in a qualifying play-off for the 1962 FIFA World Cup, with Spain winning both legs (1-0 away, 3-2 home).

By defeating Belgium (2-0) and Canada (2-1) to top Group F, Morocco won consecutive FIFA World Cup finals matches for the first time. This is their second round-of-16 fixture, having lost the previous one 1-0 to West Germany in 1986. Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and striker Youssef En-Nesyri both play in Spain for La Liga giants Sevilla.

Spain’s FIFA World Cup round-of-16 record is Win 4; Lost3, all seven of those fixtures coming against European opposition, the most recent being a penalty shoot-out defeat by hosts Russia in 2018. Their finals record against African teams is Win 3;  Draw 1;  Lose 1.

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