- Morocco eliminated Spain from the World Cup on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes
- Despite this, Spain coach Luis Enrique is happy with his players for executing his ideas
- Enrique said his only regret from the game concerned substitute player Pablo Sarabia
Morocco progressed to the quarter-final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, defeating 2010 winner Spain 3-0 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes.
Madrid-born Achraf Hakimi scored the last spot kick - a cool paneka - to send the Atlas Lions through. Luis Enrique has now praised his players despite the disappointing elimination.
Enrique defended his players, claiming they executed his idea of football perfectly and while it did not go their way, he has nothing to reproach the players for.
Enrique happy with his players
The former Barcelona manager spoke in a rather brave tone in the post-match conference, expressing his happiness with his La Roja charges and saying he would 'go to the death' with them.
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He stated, as quoted by Marca:
“I congratulate my players for how they have competed. We are sorry for not having been able to reward the fans. The players have carried out 100% of the instructions I have given them. I have nothing to reproach the players for.”
Enrique reveals only regret
The former Barcelona and Real Madrid player has revealed one regret from the match concerning Pablo Sarabia, who he brought on for penalties.
“I only have a regret with one player, which is Pablo Sarabia. I put him on to take a penalty and on top of that, he gave me two chances. That was a mistake; he showed me that he deserved more minutes in this match.”
Spain players trained 1,000 penalties
Spain missed all spot kicks in the match, which was surprising as Sports Brief had earlier reported that Enrique was said to have told players to train 1,000 penalties in the event of a shootout.
Pablo Sarabia, brought on to take a penalty, hit the foot of the post while Sergio Busquets and Carlos Soler had theirs saved by Sevilla goalkeeper Yasine Bono.
The Europeans set an unwanted record of having lost five World Cup penalty shootouts, more than any other country, as revealed by 90min.