46 mins: The second half is underway! Morocco lose possession in their own half and Isco tries to find Iniesta with the through ball. The pass is a little too heavy though and it rolls out for a goal kick.
Andreas Iniesta is Spain’s oldest ever player to deliver an assist at a World Cup (34y 45d).
Both sides will be happy with their display after that first half but Spain will surely up their game another gear in this second half. They cannot rely on the result at the Mordovia Arena to see them over the line. Morocco have proved to be a threat on the break though, so this could still go either way.
It is all square at the break of a competitive encounter, after Isco cancelled out Boutaib’s opener after the Moroccan forward pounced on a communication mistake between Iniesta and Ramos. Spain dominated possession throughout but found Morocco’s defence in a resolute mood, while Boutaib could have restored their lead were it not for a heavy touch on a rare breakaway chance. As it stands Spain will go through as runners-up, with Portugal leading at the break against Iran.
HALF-TIME: SPAIN 1-1 MOROCCO
45+2 mins: CHANCE! Beautiful footwork from Iniesta allows the veteran midfield to wriggle away from his marker and into the box. He fires a low pass across the face of goal but Costa is unable to get on the end of it.
45+1 mins: Ricardo Quaresma has given Portugal the lead against Iran. As things stand, Spain will progress even if they lose here.
45 mins: The fourth official has indicated two minutes of additional time.
43 mins: Half chance for Morocco. Hakimi takes a touch on the edge of the box before firing a driven effort towards goal, which drifts just over the crossbar.
42 mins: Morocco finally get a bit of breathing space and they can push out and put some pressure on Pique and Ramos. It pays off as well as Spain are forced to go long.
40 mins: It’s an excellent delivery towards the back post by Isco but Hakimi reads it well, getting ahead of Busquets to head clear.
39 mins: Spain are totally dominating play now. They are moving the ball around the final third looking for an opening but the Moroccan defence are standing firm, before Isco is dragged down on the right wing. Set piece chance for Spain.
37 mins: CHANCE! It is another wonderfully whipped delivery from a corner for Spain, this time towards the front post. Busquets meets it in the box, completely unmarked, but he can only head high over the bar. He should have done much better.
35 mins: Since 1966, only Morocco in 1994 (five) have received more yellow cards in a first half of a WC game than they have so far today (four).
33 mins: It remains goalless between Iran and Portugal so far, meaning that the Portuguese will advance alongside Spain as it stands. Still early doors though.
31 mins: Another Moroccan booking as da Costa receives a yellow card for a needless lunge on Isco. Things are getting a little heated from a Morocco perspective. They are still well within this game though. Boussoufa also receives a yellow card for dissent after disputing the booking of his teammate.
29 mins: Amrabat catches the heel of Ramos as he races onto a lofted through ball. The Madrid man goes to ground and Amrabat goes into the referee’s book for the foul.
27 mins: Spain have turned it up a notch here and are starting to find gaps in the Moroccan defence. A clever flick from Costa frees Isco on the left, but the midfielder’s cross is cleared away at the back post by Saiss.
25 mins: CHANCE! Boutaib races clear of the Spanish defence once again but a heavy touch inside the box takes him too close to De Gea, who smothers the shot. He is certainly proving to be a handful to this Spanish defence though, Boutaib.
24 mins: Isco has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 15 internationals for Spain (10 goals, two assists).
23 mins: It is all Spain now as they win a corner on the left. The delivery finds Pique at the back post but the defender can not generate any power on his headed effort. Easy save for Mohamedi.
21 mins: El Ahmadi is booked for a late challenge on Busquets.
19 mins: GOAL! Spain make it 1-1!!! Some wonderful quick football in and around the Morocco box frees Iniesta on the left. He reaches the byline before pulling the ball back towards the six-yard box, where Isco is on hand to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
18 mins: Spain have it all to do now. A reminder that they could still be eliminated at the group stage if the result of the other game goes against them. They have a promising attack but Iniesta opts to shoot instead of trying to find Costa with a through ball. It flies harmlessly over the bar.
16 mins: David de Gea has now conceded each of the four shots on target he has faced at the 2018 World Cup.
14 mins: GOAL! 1-0 to Morocco!!! Ramos dawdles on the ball and Boutaib snatches the ball away from him. He races through on goal as Pique desperately races back, before slotting the ball through the legs of De Gea to score Morocco’s first goal of the tournament.
12 mins: Unsurprisingly, Spain have seen over 75% of the possession so far in this first half. Similarly to the Iran game though, they are struggling to find a way through a packed defense.
10 mins: There’s no real penetration from Spain so far. They are trying to get Isco on the ball down the left but the attack is easily dealt with once more by Morocco.
8 mins: Boutaib is down receiving treatment after a two-footed challenge by Pique. It doesn’t look like he will be booked though.
6 mins: Spain win a corner on the right. It is a decent delivery by Silva but a Moroccan defender rises high to head clear. They’ve looked pretty solid in these early stages so far.
4 mins: Spain finally find some space through the back line. Isco tries to find a teammate from the left of the box but his shot-pass is an easy claim for Mohamedi
2 mins: Morocco win the ball from Spain high up the pitch but Ziyech’s cross is over hit and straight out for a goal kick. The Atlas Lions are pressing the Spanish high early on though.
1 min: We’re underway!
5 MINS TILL KO: The teams are out on the pitch and the anthems are underway, kick-off is just minutes away!
Spain make only one change to the side that started in their victory against Iran, with Thiago coming into the side in place of Vazquez, who drops to the bench.
Morocco also make one change from their defeat to Portugal, with Benatia dropping to the bench in favour of Saiss, who lines up alongside da Costa at centre-back.
10 mins till KO: Not long left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this evening…
Spain XI (4-2-3-1): David De Gea; Daniel Carvajal, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara; David Silva, Andres Iniesta, Isco; Diego Costa.
Spain substitutes: Cesar Azpilicueta, Saul Niguez, Alvaro Odriozola, Lucas Vazquez, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Nacho Monreal, Iago Aspas, Nacho, Koke, Rodrigo Moreno, Jose Reina, Marco Asensio.
Morocco XI (4-2-3-1): Munir Mohamedi; Nabil Dirar, Manuel da Costa, Romain Saiss, Achraf Hakimi; Karim El Ahmadi, Moubarak Boussoufa; Nordin Amrabat, Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech; Khalid Boutaib.
Morocco substitutes: Faycal Fajr, Amine Harit, Bono, Ayoub El Kaabi, Hamza Mendyl, Youssef En-Nesyri, Medhi Benatia, Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Sofyan Amrabat.
15 mins till KO: Morocco have fired in more shots than their opposition in each of their last six World Cup defeats (v Portugal and Iran in 2018; Brazil in 1998; Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Belgium in 1994).
20 mins till KO: Morocco will be considering themselves unlucky to already be eliminated so early on in the competition. They were impressive against Portugal but could not find the back of the net, while they were only beaten by Iran by a very late goal. Despite creating a number of opportunities in both games, Morocco have yet to fashion those chances into a goal.
The Atlas Lions have given everything in both of their fixtures so far and they will certainly not go down without a fight tonight. Morocco have proven in their games against Iran and Portugal that they can create chances in the final third; and against Spain they will have room on the counter attack to open their World Cup account if they can find the end product that has eluded them so far in this tournament.
25 mins till KO: Uruguay and Russia are waiting in the next round, with La Roja needing only a point from today’s tie to ensure their progress. However, defeat could see them still be eliminated if Iran and Portugal share a high scoring draw or if Iran beat the Portuguese by a smaller margin than their own result.
Spain have won three of their four World Cup matches against African opponents (L1), scoring 11 goals and never fewer than two per game.
30 mins till KO: It took a very fortunate deflection off Diego Costa to see Spain past a well organised Iran side and they will need an improved performance if they are to ensure their progress into the knockout stages.
45 mins till KO: Hello and welcome to Goal’s live blog of the Group B clash between Spain and Morocco at the 2018 Russia World Cup.
Confirmed Team News
Confirmed Spain XI: De Gea; Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Thiago; Silva, Iniesta, Isco; Costa
Spain subs: Azpilicueta, Saul, Odriozola, Vazquez, Arrizabalaga, Monreal, Aspas, Nacho, Koke, Moreno, Reina, Asensio
Confirmed Morocco XI: El Kajoui; Dirar, Da Costa, Saiss, Hakimi; Boussoufa, El Ahmadi; Ziyach, Belhanda, Amrabat; Boutaib
Morocco subs: Fajr, Harit, Bono, El Kaabi, Mendyl, En-Nesyri, Benatia, Carcela-Gonzalez, Bouhaddouz, Amrabat
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial).
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC Four or streamed live online using the BBC iPlayer.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BBC Four||BBC iPlayer|