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2022 FIFA World Cup: Spain, Morocco, Portugal, Switzerland close Round of 16 on Tuesday

Posted: Monday, December 5, 2022. 6:04 pm CST.

Photo Credit: FIFA

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: After six teams out of eight have qualified to the Quarterfinals, the final two games in the Round of 16 will be played on Tuesday.

Morocco will measure against Spain at 9:00 am at Education City Stadium in Doha. The afternoon match will pit Portugal against Switzerland at 1:00 pm at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Al Daayen.

Spain are favoured over Morocco in a match that has a lot of underlying political tension that dates back to 711 when Muslim ruled Morocco invaded Spain. In the 20th century, the opposite happened as France and Spain ruled over Morocco. Over the years hundreds of thousands of Moroccans have migrated to Spain across the Mediterranean Sea either to settle in Spain or access Europe. The Spanish government says 880,00 Moroccans are living in Spain.

The two countries have only met thrice in football. Spain won the first two matches in the 1962 World qualifiers on a 4-2 aggregate score. The third time ended in a very controversial 2-2 draw at the 2018 World Cup. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) validated the final Spanish goal, which was initially called offside, otherwise Morocco would have won 2-1.

While Portugal are the favourites for the afternoon match, Switzerland are no pushover. In fact, this might be the most level Round of 16 match.

If Portugal lose, this might be the last time we see Cristiano Ronaldo wearing his country’s colours.

So far, the Netherlands, Argentina, France, England, Croatia, and Brazil have made it over the hump.

After Tuesday’s games, the Qatar FIFA World Cup will have its first break and will resume on December 9 with the Quarterfinals.

 

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