Both Spain and Morocco are heading home after playing to a scoreless draw in the final game of Group D play at the 2012 London Olympics.
The score isn't indicative of the frenetic pace that both teams put on display, but what people will remember most is that Spain left London with one point and no goals to its credit.
In order to move on, Morocco needed a win over the Spanish and for Japan to beat Honduras, but the other Group D match of the day also ended in a 0-0 tie.
Surely, Luis Milla's squad would have liked to get on the board and salvage the tournament with a victory, but luck was not on their side at Old Trafford in this one.
There were numerous opportunities for both sides to find the back of the net and come away with a consolation victory, but the rain in the second half and mental blunders kept both slates blank.
BBC's Shamoon Hafez noted that many of the Moroccan players were able to put forth a solid effort even while fasting for Ramadan:
Morocco achieve draw against Spain at Old Trafford with many of the players fasting. Great achievement and respect for the players that were— Shamoon Hafez (@ShamoonHafez) August 1, 2012
Soccer By Ives' Ives Galarcep made sure we didn't forget about Spain's dismal showing at the 2012 London Games:
And Spain leaves the Olympics w/ a whimper, tying Morocco 0-0. A team STACKED w/ talent, Spain leaves the games with ONE point & ZERO goals— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) August 1, 2012
Galarcep wasn't done with Spain so quickly:
Think about the talent on Spain: Mata, Alba, Tello, Javi Martinez, Muniain, Isco, DeGea, Romeu. Quarter BILLION $ team=zero Olympic goals— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) August 1, 2012
Journalist Jimmy Burns reminded the world just how important Vicente Del Bosque is to the Spanish soccer team's success:
Spain football team's poor showing in Olympics underlines how critical Del Bosque has been in forging La Roja's identity and success— Jimmy Burns (@Jimmy_Burns) August 1, 2012
Grades for Key Spain Players
Juan Mata: C
Juan Mata was brilliant in the first half, playing the role of catalyst to perfection for the Spanish side. He created numerous opportunities for his teammates and himself in the first 45 minutes.
However, he missed a golden opportunity midway through the second half when he sent a clear shot wide left. His misfortune continued when he squandered a chance from Jordi Alba just about six yards away from the goal.
Adrian was clearly the biggest danger to Morocco on the pitch for the entire game, but he was unable to convert when his team needed a goal most. He was called offside on a key play in the first half, then was beat out by a Moroccan defender to a 50-50 ball that would have yielded a perfect opportunity to get on the board.
He then hit the post towards the end of the first half, but the worst was yet to come. Adrian had the entire net for the taking, but took the ball right out of bounds.
Grades for Key Morocco Players
Nordin Amrabat: C+
Nordin Amrabat gave the Spanish back line tantrums in the first half, but apparently he forgot about the offside rule. He was caught behind the defense three times in about six or seven minutes of play.
Amrabat made David de Gea work for his saves, though, and was poised to get his team on the board multiple times. He just missed the decided goal on a chip shot that was hurried by de Gea coming out of the net.
Abdel Barrada: C
Abdel Barrada wasn't as active as Amrabat, but the two did well to work together to create chances for their side. It appeared that Barrada would net the sole goal of the match off a pass from Amrabat, but he was denied by de Gea.
He also missed a solid chance in the first half when he sent a shot wide of de Gea's net.
Deciding Factor: Adrian's Missed Goal
With just over 20 minutes left in the match, Adrian broke through on goal and had a tally served up to him on a silver platter. It would have been the deciding goal and one that would have given Spain some kind of positive to take away from the Olympics.
The only thing standing between Adrian and the back of the net was a few yards of grass, but he simply guided the ball out of bounds in one of the most inexplicable misses. It was a microcosm of Spain's London failures.
Man of the Match: Juan Mata
Despite his inability to find the back of the net when it looked like he should have, Mata was the most active player on the field for either side.
He carved up the Moroccan defense without much effort, and if not for a few strokes of bad luck, we could have seen a Spanish triumph.
Spain heads home dejected after a rare disappointing showing in an international tournament. Some will attribute their shortcomings to the U-23 roster, but there wasn't a lack of talent at Milla's disposal. Surely, the team's supporters back home won't be pleased with their efforts.
Morocco did well to grab a draw against Spain, but it's hard to commend the overall performance after failing to advance beyond group play.
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