Spain coach Fernando Hierro has admitted that Morocco deserved to make it to the last 16 of the World Cup tournament in Russia.
After picking only one point in their first two Group stage matches against Portgual and Iran, the Atlas Lions were eliminated from the tournament before the match against Spain.
However, coach Hierro believes the North Africans deserved to stay in the tournament longer after they put in a fine performance to come away with a 2-2 draw in their match with Spain.
The Moroccans were the first to find the back of the net after Khalib Boutaib capitalised on a horrific giveaway by Spain.
Isco soon brought the Spaniards level, sending the ball crashing into the net after some brilliant play from Andres Iniesta. Morocco then stunned the favourites as Youssef En-Nesyri’s splendid header gave them a 2-1 lead in the 81st minute.
Substitute Iago Aspas’ flamboyant 91st-minute leveller saved Spain some blushes as they eventually finished the game 2-2, giving them the top spot in the Group with 5 points from 3 games.
“We knew well that it was going to be a difficult match against a strong team.
“They deserved much more at this tournament. Though they couldn’t qualify from the group mathematically, we knew it was going to be difficult. Our first conclusion (after the match)? Even though we are top of the group, there is plenty of work ahead… We have conceded five goals at this tournament – it is bad. We need to face the truth.”
Spain will play Russia in their round of 16 match in Moscow on July 1.