Belgium and Japan suffered heavy defeats against Morocco and Costa Rica respectively, in a major upset for the World Cup.
Morocco won its first World Cup match since 1998 – and third ever – beating heavyweight Belgium 2-0, ensuring it remains in the knockout stages for the second time in its history.
The Atlas Lions roared to the raucous support in the stadium as they overcame a disallowed goal at half-time to score two brilliant goals in the second half.
First, Abdulhamid Sabiri mesmerized Courtois with a well-weighted free-kick from the left, before Zakaria Abkhral sealed his side’s famous victory.
Earlier in the day, Costa Rica beat Japan 1-0 thanks to a Keysher Fuller goal in the 81st minute and tied Spain with the crucial three points to keep their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages of the World Cup alive. Group E Japan.
Japan, fresh off a surprise win over Germany that gave them a real chance of reaching the knockout stages, could find no foothold in this game, although Costa Rica are still licking their wounds from their 7-0 win over Spain.
In the first 45 minutes of the game, the passing of both sides was not smooth enough, and neither side had a single shot on target.
However, after halftime, the Japanese team introduced two new faces – Takuma Asano and Hiroki Ito, and the pace of the game immediately accelerated.
Hidemasa Morita dribbles towards the penalty area and his shot is knocked away by Keylor Navas.
The Japanese team continued to press, but failed to seize the opportunity, and the game quickly returned to the tepid rhythm of the first half.
Then, in the back-to-back play, Costa Rica took advantage of a mistake from the edge of the box and Fuller slid the ball into the top corner of the net, past Shuichi Gonda’s outstretched hand, Costa Rica’s first shot on target, the end of the game. Target.
It silenced the Samurai Blue fans for the first time, whose chants and drums filled the stadium for much of the game and galvanized the Costa Ricans in support as their own catchphrase was “Oe Oe Ticos!” Count out loud.
With just nine minutes remaining in regulation, Japan’s hopes of securing a place in the knockout stages were dashed as Navas used the ball to bounce inside the penalty area to help Costa Rica secure the victory.
Spain and Germany play later on Sunday, with the fate of both teams to be decided in the final round.