Yassine Bounou, Morocco’s goalkeeper becomes hero

The first major shock in the knockout round of Qatar 2022 was achieved by Morocco’s Yassine Bounou, who stopped all three Spain players from scoring in the penalty shootout that decided their round of 16 match.

Yassine Bounou, Moroccan Goalkeeper

Yassine Bounou of Morocco has been a brick wall for the whole game. During the group stage, the team only allowed one goal, an own goal no less, and the defensive domination continued in the knockout round against Spain.

Bounou and the Moroccan defense kept the scoreless draw through 120 minutes, forcing the nation’s first-ever World Cup penalty shootout. Despite having less experience than its European adversaries, Bounou led Morocco with confidence.

Spain made three PK attempts, but none resulted in a goal. Spain’s opening shot, by Pablo Sarabia, hit the post, and the next two shots, by Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets, were stopped by Bounou.

Bounou could have needed just one or two stops to give Morocco the victory. Morocco scored three goals in its first four tries thanks to Abdelhamid Sabiri, Hakim Ziyech, and Achraf Hakimi, but Bounou’s heroics earned him a full-team celebration.

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