Roundup: Morocco steal limelight on day of World Cup drama


DOHA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The upsets continued on day eight of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Sunday as Morocco claimed their first victory in 24 years at the tournament by overcoming Belgium 2-0.

The African side's last win in a World Cup match came in 1998 when they beat Scotland 3-0 in Saint-Etienne, France.

It was only Morocco's third win in World Cup history, the first having come in 1986 with a 3-1 win over Portugal.

Walid Regragui's men broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute as Abdelhamid Sabiri curled a wide free-kick just minutes after he was pitched on, and Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was put off by Moroccan defender Romain Saiss and could only palm the ball into the net. The FIFA later listed Saiss as the scorer.

Zakaria Aboukhlal put the result beyond doubt by firing into the roof of the net in stoppage time after Hakim Ziyech's cut-back.

At Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Costa Rica rebounded from a humiliating opening game defeat against Spain to overcome Japan 1-0.

Right-back Keysher Fuller scored in the 81st minute for the Central American side after he was set up by Yeltsin Tejeda.

"Compared with scoring a goal myself, it's much more important to take the team to a win and keep our hope to advance into the knockout stage," said Fuller.

"We were really disappointed by our defeat to Spain, but it also helped us shrug off all the pressure coming into the tournament."

It was only the first shot inside the box and the first attempt on target for Costa Rica at the World Cup.

"People thought we were already out but we are in this together," said Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez. "We weren't dead yesterday and now we are still very much alive."

At Khalifa International Stadium, Andrej Kramaric scored twice as Croatia came from behind to beat Canada 4-1, a result that dashed the Maple Leafs' hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.

Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies gave Canada the lead with a second-minute header, before Kramaric and Marko Livaja struck within eight minutes to hand Croatia the lead just before halftime.

Kramaric and Lovro Majer added two late goals as Croatia moved to top of Group F, ahead of Morocco on goal difference. Belgium are third, and Canada are last, having failed to pick up a point from their first two games.

Canada, playing in their first World Cup since 1986, joined hosts Qatar as the first teams to be eliminated from the tournament.

In Sunday's final match, substitute Niclas Fullkrug struck in the 83rd minute to earn Germany a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Alvaro Morata put Spain ahead in the 62nd minute by toe-poking home from close range after Jordi Alba's pass.

Fullkrug, who replaced Thomas Muller in the 70th minute, equalized seven minutes from time by thumping a shot past Unai Simon after Jamal Musiala's pass.

Spain remain top of Group E with four points, a point ahead of Japan and Costa Rica. Germany are fourth with one point from two matches.

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