FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain top Group B after holding Morocco to 2-2 draw - As it happened

Superior Spain take on Morocco with the former eyeing for a point in their final Group B game to see themselves into the knockout stage of the mega football tournament.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Spain top Group B after holding Morocco to 2-2 draw - As it happened
Twitter photo/@ SeFutbol

Moscow: Following a dramatic late equaliser goal, Spain drew with Morocco 2-2 in their Monday's Group B clash of FIFA World Cup 2018 at Kaliningrad Stadium. Spain, who top the group now, will face hosts Russia in the last 16. Portugal too, in the other Group B match, held Iran to a 1-1 draw and are set to meet Uruguay next.

Substitute Iago Aspas scored in stoppage-time to earn Spain a dramatic 2-2 draw with Morocco which gave them top spot in World Cup Group B and a place in the last 16. With Morocco heading towards their first win of the tournament, Iago Aspas delivered the late heroics when he back-heeled the ball into the net to cancel out Youssef En-Nesyri's brilliant 81st-minute header for Morocco. The Spanish goal was awarded after a lengthy review by the Video Assistant Referee.

Follow the match updates:

Full time! Spain 2-2 Morocco

90+4 minute: Hakimi gets a Yellow card apparently for disputing the decision to allow Spain's second goal

90+2 minute: VAR allows the goal. Spain 2-2 Morocco

4 minutes of Stoppage time!

90 minute: Referee disallows Spain's Aspas goal but the decision goes for VAR 

88 minute: Moroccan goal keeper Munir booked for wasting time, gets Yellow card

85 minute: Morocco too make last replacement. Ziyach replaced by Aziz Bouhaddouz

84 minute: Final substitution by Spain, David Silva replaced by Rodrigo

83 minute: Free kick for Spain

81 minute: Goal! Morocco lead with a second goal. Substitute El Nesyri heads into the Spanish net from a corner

78 minute: Ramos attempts a long distance shot from over the bar

75 minute: Amrabat gets a free kick which is defended by Aspas

73 minute: Double substitution for Spain. Iago Aspas comes in for Diego Costa and Marco Asensio for Thiago Alcantara

71 minute: Another substitution for Morocco. Boutaib is replaced by En Nesyri

69 minute: Another chance goes abegging for Spain as Thiago shoots wide

67 minute: Spain demonstrating tiki-taka to breach Moroccan defence but David Silva fails to control pass by Isco

64 minute: Substitution by Morocco. Belhanda replaced by Fajr

62 minute: Pique's header is just wide of the Moroccan goal post

60 minute: Spain build up the pressure and Isco gets a chance to put Spain ahead but his header is cleared by Moroccan defender Romain Saiss for a corner

58 minute: A lovely attempt by Thiago but the ball plunges all the way across the goal post

55 minute: Nordin Amrabat lets loose a crunching right footer but Spain are saved by the cross bar

As per the current stand, Portugal still tops the Group B list. Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo fails to score from the penalty in the other Group B clash

50 minute: Spain survive a scare as Boussoufa lounges forward but Spanish goal keeper De Gea clears the ball

48 minute: Handball by Pique? Moroccans expect a response from the referee, but no success

45 minute: Morocco starts the second half

Half time! Spain 1-1 Morocco, Portugal 1-0 Iran

45+3 minute: Iniesta once again opens up the Moroccan defence but Diego Costa fails to connect and the ball sails across the Moroccan goal post

3 minutes of Stoppage time 

In the other Group B clash, Portugal take the lead minutes ahead of the half time. Portugal 1-0 Iran

43 minute: Ziyach attempts a long-range shot but the ball harmlessly sails over the Spanish goal post

40 minute: Free kick for Spain but Moroccan defence manages to clear the ball

Meanwhile, in the other Group B game, Portugal and Iran are goalless 

37 minute: Corner for Spain but Busquets heads it over the bar. It is still Spain 1-1 Morocco

34 minute: Spain manage to get a corner following a spell of pressure on Morocco

With 32 minutes into the game, 4 Moroccans booked with Yellow card

30 minute: Morocco get another Yellow card, Da Costa is booked for fouling Isco. Moroccan captain Boussoufa gets a Yellow card for arguing with the referee

28 minute: Yellow card for Nordin Amrabat for a dangerous challenge on Sergio Ramos

25 minutes down the line, Spain have 75 per cent possession while Morocco have 25 per cent possession

24 minute: Morocco launch a fast counter as Khalid Boutaib dodges pass the Spanish defence but shoots straight at goal keeper David De Gea

23 minute: Corner for Spain but Pique's header is easily saved by Moroccan goal keeper Munir 

20 minute: Yellow card for Karim El Ahmadi for a foul on Busquets

18 minute: Goal! Spain's Iniesta weaves through the Moroccan defence and passes the ball to Isco, who blasts the ball from the six-yard line into the roof of the net

Morocco scores its first goal of the 2018 World Cup after a misunderstanding between Iniesta and Sergio Ramos

13 minute: Goal! Morocco take lead. Khalid Boutaïb shoots it through the legs of the Spanish goal keeper after a defensive blunder

8 minute: Isco and Ramos fouled. Ramos gets into a heated argument with Iran's El Ahmadi

5 minute: Spain win a corner

4 minute: Spain slowly build up the attack but Isco shoots straight at the Moroccan goal keeper Mohamedi

2 minute: Morocco launch the first raid on Spanish goal post, Ziyech's cross goes out of play



Spain XI: De Gea, Carvajal, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Thiago; Silva, Iniesta, Isco, Diego Costa

Morocco XI: Munir, Hakimi, Da Costa, Saiss, Dirar, El Ahmadi, Boussoufa, Amrabat, Belhanda, Ziyech, Boutaib

The Spanish currently share leadership of their group with Portugal, who will also reach the last 16 with a draw against Iran. Both the Spanish and Portuguese have the same number of points and the same goal difference and if that is still the case after Monday's matches, their positions would be decided by the number of yellow cards each side has seen so far in Russia. The Spanish struggled to break down Iran in their recent 1-0 win in Kazan and Hierro needs midfielders such as David Silva, Andres Iniesta and Isco to try and get closer to the Morocco penalty area. Diego Costa has been Spain's main threat so far with 3 of the 4 goals they have scored so far in Russia.

Morocco, on the other hand, showed in their games against Iran and Portugal that they are a tough side to face, but that they lack punch in attack. That lack of a threat has seen them fail to take the chances which could have given their World Cup a very different storyline than an early ticket home and the Spanish will have to be careful of being caught on the break as they seek to control possession. In theory, Spain could suffer a narrow defeat and still make the last 16 if Portugal beat Iran or that game ends in a low scoring draw.

Spain full squad: 

Goalkeepers - Kepa Arrizabalaga, David De Gea, Pepe Reina

Defenders - Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta, Dani Carvajal, Nacho Monreal, Nacho, Odriozola, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos

Midfielders - Marco Asensio, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Isco, Koke, Thiago, Saul, David Silva, Lucas Vasquez

Forwards - Iago Aspas, Diego Costa, Rodrigo

Morocco full squad: 

Goalkeepers - Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti, Mounir El Kajoui, Yassine Bounou

Defenders - Medhi Benatia, Romain Saiss, Manuel Da Costa, Badr Benoun, Nabil Dirar, Achraf Hakimi, Hamza Mendyl

Midfielders - Mbark Boussoufa, Hakim Ziyech, Karim El Ahmadi, Youssef Ait Bennasser, Sofyan Amrabat, Younes Belhanda, Faycal Fajr, Amine Harit

Forwards - Khalid Boutaib, Aziz Bouhaddouz, Ayoub El Kaabi, Nordin Amrabat, Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez