News Matches
World Cup

2022 World Cup: Morocco got battered but knew Bounou will stop Spain - Okocha

12:24 EAT 07/12/2022
Yassine Bounou Morocco 2022
Austin 'Jay-Jay' Okocha has praised the performance of goalkeeper Yassine Bounou after his penalty saves helped Morocco defeat Spain 3-0 on Tuesday.
  • Bounou produced saves to help Morocco
  • Morocco earned a 3-0 penalty victory
  • Okocha impressed with Bounou's display

WHAT HAPPENED? In the Round of 16 fixture at Education City Stadium, the Atlas Lions produced a solid performance to deny the 2010 World champions in normal and extra-time.

During penalties, Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was the hero and kept out Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets' efforts while Pablo Sarabia hit the post. Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi scored for Morocco.

Bounou's display has caught the attention of the 49-year-old Okocha, who insists Morocco knew they would succeed during penalties.

WHAT DID HE SAY? "From the body language of the keeper, he trusts himself, he's very confident. He trusts in his ability," Okocha told SuperSport TV.

"It looked like this is the only way they could have won the game because they got battered when it came to possession play but when your game is to defend, you should at least have some qualities when it gets to penalties. And that's what they showed."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The Atlas Lions became the fourth African team to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? The Atlas Lions will come up against Portugal in the last eight at Al Thumama Stadium on Saturday.

The Selecao reached the quarters after defeating Switzerland 6-1 in the Round of 16.