Morocco's penalty hero is called Bono: This man caused Spain's World Cup nightmare

Born in Montreal, grew up playing football in Casablanca, became the Europa League winner in Seville: In the World Cup round of 16, Morocco's goalkeeper Yassine Bounou continued his personal heroic story.

Morocco's penalty hero is called Bono: This man caused Spain's World Cup nightmare

Born in Montreal, grew up playing football in Casablanca, became the Europa League winner in Seville: In the World Cup round of 16, Morocco's goalkeeper Yassine Bounou continued his personal heroic story. Because he manages to keep a clean sheet against Spain despite penalties.

At Google, Yassine Bounou still has to queue up. Anyone looking for "Bono" will first find the Irish musician of the legendary rock band U2 and only then the goalkeeper of the Moroccan national team. He has the same nickname and, with his outstanding performance in the World Cup round of 16, should have at least reduced the gap in the number of search results. Yassine Bounou kept a clean sheet that night at ar-Rayyan's Education City Stadium - despite the game going to a penalty shoot-out.

After 90 minutes it's 0-0, even extra time doesn't bring a decision, which is why the duel follows from the point after 120 goalless minutes. And Bono's heroic story reaches its (temporary) climax. Pablo Sarabia opens for the Spaniards who are aiming to become world champions for the second time after 2010. From the goalkeeper's point of view, the attacker aims in the lower left corner, which the keeper also chooses. The 31-year-old speculated correctly and would have parried the shot, but the ball hit the post and from there back into the field.

Hakim Ziyech gave Morocco a 2-0 lead after Abdelhamid Sabiri's safe conversion. Second shooter for Spain is Carlos Soler. He picks the same corner as Sarabia and Bono is there again. Holds this time. The fact that Badr Benoun then fails due to Unai Simon degenerates into a side note shortly afterwards. Because Sergio Busquets is playing for Spain, the 34-year-old captain of the Seleccion, three-time Champions League winner and eight-time national champion with FC Barcelona, ​​where he has long enjoyed legendary status.

Again Bono suspects the corner, this time the right one from his point of view, saves the shot. And gives Achraf Hakimi the chance to take Morocco to the quarter-finals. He casually chips in the middle, Simon flies into the corner in vain. Hakimi of all people, who was born in Madrid and trained at Real, could be thrown in in the best football commentary manner, who also made an impression in the Bundesliga during his time at Borussia Dortmund. The hero of the evening, however, is Bono, who initially just clenches his fist before the cameras catch him with a huge grin after the save against Busquets.

Bono is the backbone of an impressive Moroccan defense who have conceded just one goal in four games at this World Cup - from defender Nayef Aguerd's own goal in the 2-1 win over Canada. He brought the group victory in front of vice world champions Croatia and the eternal, but this time primarily disappointing secret favorites from Belgium. For the third consecutive year, Spain have been eliminated on penalties in a major tournament. To a goalkeeper who has largely learned his craft in Spain since moving to Europe in 2012.

Atlético Madrid signed Bono from the Moroccan record champion Wydad Casablanca, with whom the talent spent his entire youth and made his first appearances with the professionals. In Madrid, Bono plays primarily for the second team, moving on loan to Real Zaragoza, then joining second division FC Girona. With the club from Catalonia he succeeds in promotion, but then not in the league. This in turn is used by FC Sevilla, for whom he will be indispensable at the Europa League final tournament after the pandemic-related interruption in the summer of 2020.

Until then, Bono is only a substitute in the league, but at the final tournament in North Rhine-Westphalia he made a decisive contribution to the victories against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United and Inter Milan, which brought Sevilla FC their sixth success in the Europa League. Born in Montreal/Canada, the Moroccan keeper has been the clear number one in Seville ever since, developing into one of the best goalkeepers in the Spanish league and even making it into the top ten in the 2022 World Goalkeeper of the Year election. Now he is preparing with Morocco to become the first African national team to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup. Or even more if the old adage is to be believed that defense wins titles.

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