Spain (1-1-0, 4 points) vs. Morocco (0-0-2, 0 points)
Group B, Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad
There is, in some ways, a lot at stake for both Spain and Morocco as the teams meet in Kaliningrad. It will be the last game of the group stage for each side, and the last chance to achieve quite opposite endeavors: Spain is looking to advance out of Group B after failing to make the knockout round at the 2014 World Cup. Morocco is looking for a win — or even just a goal.
Spain is currently tied atop Group B with Portugal, with identical goal differentials and goals scored, and a head-to-head draw. Iran is lurking right behind with three points after a tight win over Morocco, and faces Portugal simultaneously on Monday. A win or draw for Spain against Morocco would guarantee a spot in the knockout round. A loss could make things very complicated, and leave Spain counting on some help from Portugal, its longtime rival. Morocco, with no points and no hope to advance, is just looking to spoil Spain’s run and lift their fans back home.
When: Monday, 2 p.m. Eastern.
How to watch on TV: FS1.
How to stream online: Fox Sports and the Fox Soccer Match Pass apps and FoxSportsGo.com.
How to watch in Spanish: NBC Universo
How to watch in Canada: Bell Media’s TSN and CTV networks, the TSN GO app and TSN.ca/live.
Spain (1-1-0, 4 points)
- Previous results: Drew 3-3 against Portugal; defeated Iran, 1-0.
- What’s at stake: A win or a draw and Spain is through. Spain needs to out-perform Portugal to win the group, although that could mean a more difficult matchup in the round of 16.
- Notable: After right back Dani Carvajal returned against Iran, Spain is dealing with no major injuries as it looks to push past the group stage.
- FIFA world ranking: 10. ELO world ranking: 2.
Morocco (0-0-2, 0 points)
- Previous results: Lost to Iran, 1-0; lost to Portugal, 1-0.
- Just pride for Morocco, which has already been eliminated. The Atlas Lions have lost seven of their last nine World Cup games.
- Notable: Morocco’s World Cup run has included no tangible offensive production and a troubling statistic: It has scored more own goals (one) than actual goals (zero) through two games. Aziz Bouhaddouz’s own goal led to Morocco’s 1-0 loss to Iran, and it came in the fifth minute of stoppage time. The last time a team did not score in all three of its group stage matches was in 2010, when both Algeria and Honduras failed to net a goal.
- FIFA world ranking: 41. ELO world ranking: 44.
Players to watch
Striker Diego Costa has three of Spain’s four goal in this World Cup, and he will be needed against the defensive-minded Morocco. If Morocco is to scratch the score sheet against Spain — which could go a long way in salvaging some pride before heading home — 31-year-old striker Khalid Boutaib may be responsible. Morocco’s defense has been clinical through two games, but the side has not been able to generate much offensive pressure. That won’t be any easier against Spain, but Boutaib is often at the center of Morocco’s fleeting pushes into the attacking third.