Day 17 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 produced the only upset of the round of 16 with Morocco stunning Spain, while a benched Ronaldo was forced to watch his team produce their best performance of the tournament to send Switzerland packing.
There was plenty to take away from the two matches on the day. Here are four takeaways for our OBSERVER ONLINE readers.
1. Morocco make history
Morocco became the first Arab country and the fourth African nation to reach the World Cup quarterfinals after a penalty shootout win over 2010 champions Spain. The other African teams to achieve the feat are Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010).
2. Adios amigos
Spain were sent packing after a stellar performance by Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou during a decisive penalty shootout. He saved two penalties and also made crucial saves throughout the game to ensure the match stayed 0-0 for 120 minutes.
3. Portugal shine without Ronaldo
Goncalo Ramos, who replaced superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting 11, announced himself to the world with a hattrick against Switzerland. Additionally, Portugal played a more attractive game of football that saw them obliterate Switzerland six goals to one.
4. The ‘old’ and the ‘young’
The headlines in Lisbon tomorrow will feature Portugal’s oldest player and one of their youngest. The 39-year-old Pepe made history by becoming the oldest player ever to score in the knockout stages of the World Cup and the second-oldest scorer ever in the history of the tournament. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos’ hattrick led the way for the Portuguese in their runaway victory over a lacklustre Switzerland.