Spain have been drawn against hosts Russia in the Round of 16, following their VAR-inspired 2-2 draw against Morocco at the Kaliningrad Stadium on Monday.
Morocco initially took a surprise lead when Khalid Boutaib capitalised on a Spanish mix-up at the back, but Isco responded five minutes later to round off a standout team move to make it 1-1.
La Roja had not accounted for Morocco’s remarkable endeavour, though, as Herve Renard’s side looked to have snatched a shock victory when substitute Youssef En-Nesyri thumped a header home in the 81st minute.
A thrilling encounter on the Baltic Coast was not over just yet, though, as Spanish sub Iago Aspas saw his goal awarded by VAR in stoppage time, after originally being given offside, in order for Fernando Hierro’s charges to steal a memorable point.
It was a defensive mishap that then led Morocco to take a surprise lead, as Sergio Ramos and Iniesta were caught dawdling by Boutaib just inside the Spain half. The striker stole in to snatch possession, before racing away to slot coolly past David de Gea in the 14th minute.
La Roja responded in typical Spanish style, however, as Isco levelled only for five minutes later. Iniesta was the architect as he rounded his marker inside the box, leaving the playmaker to cut the ball back for Isco, who rifled into the roof of the net.
La Roja continued to go about their attacking work undisturbed and a second goal should have arrived when Isco rose inside the area, leaving Romain Saiss to valiantly head clear off the line to prevent an almost-certain goal.
The interception turned out to be crucial, though, as substitute En-Nesyri pulled off the unthinkable with nine minutes to play, as he beat Ramos at a corner to send a powerful header past De Gea at the death.
It looked as though Morocco were to seal a shock victory, only for VAR to interfere and hand Spanish substitute Aspas a stoppage-time goal that was originally ruled out for offside by referee Ravshan Irmatov.
Spain will face tournament hosts Russia on July 1.