Spain Morocco Dec 6, 2022; Ar Rayyan, QATAR; Spain midfielder Rodri (16) plays for the ball against Morocco defender Romain Saïss (6) during extra time in the round of sixteen match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Education City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a soccer fan, and I typically defend against the stereotypes people give about soccer. For example, the lack of scoring and matches ending 0-0 make soccer boring. There can be entertaining 0-0 matches, and a tie score means that the match can change at any second, but even I cannot defend what took place during MoroccoSpain at the FIFA World Cup.

Both teams played to a 0-0 draw, and it was about as exciting as I described. Spain kept passing and passing and passing and turned the match into more of a training exercise than having any actual urgency to score.

By the end of extra time, Spain had 76% possession and almost 900 completed passes with a 91% completion rate but only had one shot on target, while Morocco had two. Spain didn’t start shooting with regularity until close to the end of regular time, but those shots were largely off-target or blocked.

Some of that was thanks to Morocco’s stifling defense. When you’re shutting down passing lanes that go toward the goal and your game is to score via counterattack, Spain will keep that in mind and be careful. So the idea that a match is boring isn’t an indictment on either team playing poorly. Both teams are playing well, but you can argue that the match came down to neither team wanting to give up the first goal than actually trying to score the first goal. Credit should be placed on the fans in attendance, who kept the atmosphere rocking throughout the 120 minutes.

Anyway, many took notice of the dullness of the match, one that Morocco dominated in penalties.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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