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Who will Morocco play in Round of 16 knockout stage?

Morocco has advanced to the knockout stage as the winner of Group F. We break down what’s next for them in the Round of 16.

Morocco’s midfielder #07 Hakim Ziyech (L) celebrates with teammates after he scored his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group F football match between Canada and Morocco at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on December 1, 2022. Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images

4 p.m. update: Spain lost to Japan on Thursday, but Germany’s failure to score more goals against Costa Rica means Spain advances. They finished second in Group E and will face Morocco in the Round of 16. This will be the fourth time the two squads have faced off. Spain won a pair of World Cup qualifying matches in 1961 and the two teams played to a draw in the 2018 World Cup.

Morocco has pulled off one of the bigger upsets of the 2022 World Cup, winning Group F and advancing to the Round of 16. Morocco wasn’t quite a long-shot in any of this, but they were firmly behind Belgium and Croatia in the pre-tournament odds. Morocco beat Canada 2-1 to advance and won the group after Croatia and Belgium finished with a scoreless draw.

As the group winner, Morocco will face the second place team in Group E in the Round of 16. That squad is unknown heading into Thursday afternoon’s final group play at 2 p.m. ET. The match will take place on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET at Education City Stadium.

The Group E standings heading into the afternoon are wide open, with all four teams having a chance at advancement. Germany is the only one who cannot win the group, but even they can still claim second place with a win and some help. Spain leads the group and faces Japan, while Germany plays Costa Rica.

This is the first time since 1982 Morocco has advanced out of the group stage at the World Cup.