The FC crew look back on VAR decisions from Spain's draw with Morocco and ponder whether La Roja can get their defensive issues sorted in the knockout stages. While all the drama was happening in Kaliningrad, similarly insane scenes broke out in Saransk, where Iran equalised from the penalty spot to miraculously put Spain top of the group.
With Portugal also drawing with Iran, Spain progressed as group winners because they scored more goals and next face host Russian Federation on Sunday (Monday NZ time) in the round of 16 in Moscow, leaving Portugal to Group A winners Uruguay in Sochi a day earlier. The whole team should be commended for this World Cup.
With Portugal also drawing with Iran, Spain progressed as group victor because it scored more goals and next plays host Russian Federation on Sunday in Moscow, while Portugal plays Uruguay in Sochi a day earlier.More news: 'Permit Patty' calls cops on girl selling water in San Francisco
Of course, Morocco entered the match having nothing to play for, but anyone thinking there would be any letup in the Atlas Lions' game would have been quickly disabused of that notion.
The first half was otherwise notable for a number of crunching challenges - Morocco receiving four yellow cards and Spain defender Gerard Pique was perhaps fortunate not to be set off for a two-footed lunge.
"You get annoyed as it takes a minute, and the way it is done". The Moroccan striker finished off his effort by slotting it between David De Gea's legs to make it 1-0 for his side in the 14th minute.
"It will be tough game against the hosts, it will be a packed stadium", said Spain coach Fernando Hierro who took charge of the team two days before the tournament following Lopetegui's sacking. La Roja had begun to focus its attacks on the right side of Morocco's defense, and one such foray delivered an equalizer in the 19th minute.More news: Prince William starts first British royal visit to Israel, Palestinian Territories
Spain almost grabbed a second just before halftime when Iniesta fired a low pass across the goalmouth that a sliding Diego Costa just missed getting his foot to.
Nordin Amrabat was desperately unlucky not to score in the second half as his searing shot came back off the angle of post and bar with De Gea motionless.
Three minutes after the hour mark Spain were denied the lead by a brilliant goalline clearance from Romain Saiss.
It looked like they had secured a famous win when substitute Youssef En-Neysri towered above Ramos to send a thumping header past De Gea.More news: How to watch Iran vs
But just when Morocco though the points were theirs, Iago Aspas scored with a fine back-heeled flick in stoppage time as Spain ultimately made first place theirs. The referee had called Aspas for an offside but on VAR review, the goal was given.