Spain Draws 2-2 With Morocco, Reaches World Cup Round of 16 - NBC10 Boston
2018 FIFA World Cup

2018 FIFA World Cup

Sixty-four matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities in Russia

Spain Draws 2-2 With Morocco, Reaches World Cup Round of 16

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    Spain Draws 2-2 With Morocco, Reaches World Cup Round of 16
    AP
    Morocco's Youssef En Nesyri, top, jumps to score his side's second goal during the group B match between Spain and Morocco at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

    A video replay in injury time gave Spain the goal it needed to win Group B at the World Cup.

    Spain substitute Iago Aspas scored the late equalizer Monday in a 2-2 draw with Morocco. His clever deflection off a cross from Dani Carvajal was initially disallowed for offside, but the video assistant referee overruled the call at Kaliningrad Stadium.

    Another substitute, Morocco forward Youssef En Nesyri, headed in a goal in the 81st minute to give already-eliminated Morocco hope of a victory.

    Earlier, a mix-up by Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos gifted Morocco its first goal of the World Cup. Iniesta quickly made amends by setting up Isco at the other end to bring Spain level at halftime.

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    With Portugal also drawing with Iran, Spain progressed as group winner because it scored more goals.

    Elsewhere:

    Saudi Arabia 2, Egypt 1

    The oldest person to play in a World Cup match made some spectacular saves Monday. He also watched two go past him.

    Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who is 45, took the field for his team's final group match to set the record. Although he saved one penalty, he couldn't stop Saudi Arabia from winning 2-1 in a game between two teams that had already been eliminated.

    "I am very sorry for the fans, for everyone in Egypt," El Hadary said. "I want to thank my teammates. It was a great honor for me to play."

    Salem Aldawsari scored the winner for the Saudis with almost the last kick of the match, volleying past El Hadary from a tight angle inside the Egypt penalty area.

    Mohamed Salah, playing for the second time since injuring his left shoulder in last month's Champions League final, had put Egypt ahead in the 22nd minute after deftly controlling a long ball from Abdalla Said and then lobbing goalkeeper Yasser Almosailem.

    It was Salah's second goal at the World Cup, and Egypt's first in open play at the World Cup since 1934.

    Salman Alfaraj got the Saudis level with a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time after Ali Gabr brought down Fahad Almuwallad in the area. The decision was confirmed after a video review and the penalty was taken in the sixth minute of injury time.

    "I think that in general we kept control of the pace, we kept possession ... and I think that we deserved to win," Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said. "Talking about the future, well, the association will have to decide what they're going to do."

    Almuwallad had earlier missed a chance to equalize when El Hadary saved his penalty. The veteran goalkeeper dived to his right and flicked his left hand up to push the shot onto the bar before it was cleared.

    El Hadary was unable to repeat the feat at the end of the half, going the wrong way and having no chance as Alfaraj scored from the spot.

    El Hadary also made a series of good saves in the second half to deny Saudi Arabia, notably in the 69th minute when he tipped a header from Hussain Almoqahwi over the bar. A minute later, he parried away a goal-bound header from Muhannad Asiri.

    He had no chance with Aldawsari's last-gasp winner, however.

    El Hadary overtook Faryd Mondragon as the oldest person to play at the World Cup. The Colombia goalkeeper was 43 when he came on as a late substitute in his team's 4-1 victory over Japan four years ago at the World Cup in Brazil.

    "It is true that it was a special record today and many, many people in Egypt love him and support him," Egypt coach Hector Cuper said. "and he has played a great game."

    Uruguay 3, Russia 0

    Luis Suarez finally got rattled at this year's World Cup.

    Sitting at the podium in the post-match news conference following Uruguay's 3-0 victory over Russia, a reporter asked him why he often wore a sad expression.

    Suarez tossed aside his translation headphones, then smiled broadly in defiance and finally said: "What a waste of time. Next question please."

    Other than that little blip, Suarez has been on his best behavior in Russia, scoring twice as Uruguay swept through the group stage with three straight victories — sending the two-time champions to the knockout round for the third straight World Cup.

    Edinson Cavani also scored Monday against the host nation, which dropped its first match of the tournament.

    Both teams were already assured of spots in the knockout round, but Uruguay's victory put it at the top of Group A and looking toward a match in Sochi on Saturday against Portugal.

    Uruguay, which also benefited from an own-goal in the first half, had its third straight shutout of the tournament after consecutive 1-0 victories over Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The Uruguayans and goalkeeper Fernando Muslera have not allowed a goal in any of the team's six matches this year.

    "After winning the first two matches 1-0, our goal was to get another," Suarez said. "We wanted to play the same we had before, only better."

    By advancing to the round of 16 with victories over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Russia secured its best World Cup showing in the post-Soviet era. But Uruguay — ranked No. 14 in the world — posed a far greater challenge to the hosts.

    Suarez, who seems to have put past World Cup controversies behind him, scored with a low shot from just outside the box that sailed past the wall of Russian players and into the right corner of the goal. The Barcelona striker then blew a kiss to the national team's fans.

    Suarez is the all-time leading scorer for Uruguay with 53 international goals in 101 appearances, including a goal against Saudi Arabia last Wednesday.

    But his two past World Cups have been marked by controversy: He was sent home from Brazil four years ago for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. In 2010, he used his hands to block Dominic Adiyiah's header and then celebrated when Ghana missed the penalty kick. Uruguay prevailed in a shootout, and Suarez was marked as a dirty player.

    Uruguay took a 2-0 lead over Russia on an own-goal — the sixth of the World Cup to tie the tournament record. Midfielder Diego Laxalt's shot from long range deflected off Denis Cheryshev's foot and past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

    Russia, the lowest ranked team in the field at No. 70, went down to 10 men after right back Igor Smolnikov received a second yellow card in the 36th minute. Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov immediately took off Cheryshev for defender Mario Fernandes.

    Cavani scored in the 90th minute and was taken out a short time later. The Paris Saint-Germain forward put a rebound into the left corner of the net after Diego Godin's header was parried by Akinfeev.

    "It's important for strikers to score," Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. "When they feel comfortable or at home, they score goals. Strikers contribute a lot to a team. We know as we improve our game we will offer opportunities to all of our players to improve their game." 

    Uruguay was making its 12th appearance at the World Cup, which it won in 1930 and 1950. More recently, the team finished fourth in South Africa in 2010 and made the round of 16 in Brazil four years ago.

    "It's clear that they have top notch players, while we have very good players, too," Cherchesov said. "I like how my team played after we lost one player. We were rather aggressive."

    Iran 1, Portugal 1

    Cristiano Ronaldo's missed penalty cost Portugal first place in its World Cup group.

    It could have been worse if not for Ricardo Quaresma, who started for the first time in the tournament and scored his maiden World Cup goal with a shot that had about as much flare as any in the tournament.

    Portugal finished second in Group B after a 1-1 draw with Iran on Monday. The 2016 European champions will next face Uruguay on Saturday in the round of 16.

    "The conclusion and the most important thing is we're going to continue playing," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "We had a strong opponent."

    Quaresma became the only player other than Ronaldo to score for the Portuguese in three games in Russia. The 34-year-old midfielder also became Portugal's oldest scorer in World Cup play by hitting a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area that went beyond the reach of diving Iran goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand.

    Ronaldo — who had scored all four Portugal goals in its first two games of Group B play — was denied on his penalty by Beiranvand's dive toward the right post in the second half.

    "We were on top of the game until the penalty, and we didn't make it. It wasn't perfect, but that's football," Santos said. "We did what was expected and now we have to settle down and think about Uruguay."

    Karim Ansarifard scored a late penalty for Iran, which need to win to advance, but couldn't break through a second time despite a furious charge in the waning minutes. The Mordovia arena momentarily vibrated from the sound of Iran fans' roars when Mehdi Taremi hit the side of the net from 6 yards out.

    The penalty against Portugal was awarded after a video review showed a handball in the area. But although Iran coach Carolos Queiroz benefited from that review, he railed against the system for the second day in a row. In particular, he cited a decision to give Ronaldo a yellow card after his elbow struck Iran defender Morteza Pouraliganji in the face in the second half.

    "Elbow is a red card in the rules," Queiroz asserted in English, adding that there are no written exceptions for players named Ronaldo or Lionel Messi. "The decisions, they must be clear for everybody, for the people. Everybody agrees that VAR is not going well. That's the reality. There are a lot of complaints."