Spain manager Luis Enrique made the surprise decision to start Marcos Llorente at right back for his team’s Round of 16 clash with Morocco. Llorente hadn’t played a single minute in this World Cup before Tuesday and Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal had a field day with him in the first half.
Boufal was a Moroccan menace in the opening 45 minutes showing off a variety of skills and good dribbles. The 29-year-old winger who plays for Angers in Ligue 1 made Llorente’s life a living hell.
Boufal’s bidding was wildly entertaining for Morocco fans and neutrals alike. His best moment came in the 22nd minute when he put Llorente on skates.
Boufal vs Llorente World Cup
Boufal humiliates Llorente. pic.twitter.com/QK7XLr1Sdz— World Cup Updates (@wc22updates) December 6, 2022
Stop that Boufal pic.twitter.com/UXJiBfi6VE— GonçaloDias17 (@goncalo_diass17) December 6, 2022
Snatching Llorente’s ankles wasn’t all the Moroccan left winger did in the opening 45. Some of the African nation’s best chances came courtesy of Boufal.
In the 42nd minute Spanish phenom Pedri became his latest victim. Boufal sliced and diced the Spaniard before putting in a lovely cross that Nayef Aguerd headed over the bar.
WHAT A CHANCEMorocco is knocking at the end of the first half pic.twitter.com/cFsYGMgSgz
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 6, 2022
Sofiane Boufal's half-time by numbers vs Spain:27 touches
11 duels won
5 take-ons completed
3 ball recoveries
3 crosses attempted
1 chance created
— Squawka (@Squawka) December 6, 2022
Keep up the good work Boufal.
At the time this article was written the score was 0-0 at halftime.