Spain and Portugal reach World Cup knockout round

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       Former England defender Gary Neville explains why Spain are the best team he's seen in the World Cup

With nothing to lose, Morocco played a 4-1-4-1 formation with Khalid Boutaib leading the line and both Younes Belhanda and captain Moubarak Boussoufa also stepping forward to press Spain's defence when they had the ball high up the pitch.

Karim Ansarifard converted the spot-kick to make it 1-1, while Iago Aspas scored a last-gasp equaliser to see the Spanish top of the group on goals scored.

The Iranian squad took on Portugal on Monday in Saransk with three points, while Portugal only needed one more point to secure its place in the knockout stages.

"So the first conclusion I draw is that despite all these challenges, we emerged on top, so we need to look at the silver lining, think positive".

"They lost their first match in the last minute with an own goal and had an excellent game against Portugal - we are talking about a tough nut to crack".

"Obviously we can improve and there are things that definitely need to be worked on".

In Brazil four years ago, as defending champion, Spain didn't progress from its group.

Elimination for Spain would be its second straight group stage exit.




They survived scares after that when Boutaib nearly took advantage of further slack defending as he was denied by David De Gea, and Nordin Amrabat's shot hit the post, before Youssef En-Nesyri put Morocco 2-1 up in the 81st minute.

"We have achieved our goal and now we have to recover over the next few days to think about the next match", Quaresma told reporters.

"It's such a big disappointment for us", Iran midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh said.

"And now we need to be very demanding with ourselves and have very clearly in mind that if we concede so easily, it will be very hard for us to reach our ultimate goal".

Portugal and Spain are the two best teams in the world but we presented our team at the World Cup very well.

Portugal will face the more daunting task of facing Uruguay in Sochi after the concession of a controversial late penalty relegated them to second.

At about noon on Monday Portugal players had a quick walk around the hotel, but it is uncertain whether they will walk around the city as they did before other matches in Russian Federation.

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