Qatar 2022: Rodri Slams Morocco’s Tactics After Spain’s Penalty Shootout Defeat
Spain midfielder Rodri has slammed Morocco’s tactics during their World Cup last-16 tie, with the Manchester City star claiming the North Africans offered ‘absolutely nothing’.
Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missed from the spot for Spain as Morocco triumphed 3-0 in the penalty shootout at the Education City Stadium in Qatar.
The result saw Morocco become the first Arab nation to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Morocco’s last appearance in the knockout round was at the 1986 World Cup, where they lost 1-0 to Germany in the round of 16.
The defeat marked Spain’s third consecutive major tournament exit on penalties, after losing to hosts Russia in the last-16 of the 2018 World Cup, before being beaten by Italy in the Euro 2020 semi-final.
Rodri claimed Morocco just ‘waited for counters’ during the 120 minutes.
“Morocco offered absolutely nothing, without disrespecting them,” Rodri was quoted by Daily Express.
“In the game, they did nothing.
“They just waited for the counters. They stayed behind and tried to counter us.”
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And in a chat with RTVE, Rodri, 26, admitted the defeat was among his ‘worst days’ in football.
“They were very clear about how they wanted to play. There’s not much more to say, penalties are like that.
“We’re going home, it’s one of the worst days.
“We expected 11 guys behind, it’s complicated, it’s frustrating. I wish someone up there would have helped us.
“Football is cruel sometimes. The team gave it our all, I think we deserved to go through.”
Spain finished the match having had 77 per cent possession, completing 1,019 passes to Morocco’s 304.
The 2010 World Cup winners failed to regularly trouble the Moroccan goal despite their dominance of the ball, recording 13 shots in the match with only one on target.
Morocco finished the last-16 tie having had six shots, with two on target.
Sarabia had gone closest to breaking the deadlock moments before penalties, volleying against the outside of the post in stoppage time at the end of extra time.
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