Ronaldo earns edgy Portugal 1-0 win as Morocco's hopes end

Eloise Marshall
June 21, 2018

The Real Madrid striker headed in Joao Moutinho's long cross just four minutes in to score what turned out to be the only goal of the match.

"Come on, man, we're here at a World Cup, it's not a circus!"

The Atlas Lions, who lost 0-1 to Iran in their first game, lie bottom of the group without a point. He could not get the ball up and over a solid wall of defenders on either occasion.

Ronaldo's 85th global goal made him Europe's all-time leading worldwide goalscorer as he broke Hungary legend Ferens Puskas's 62-year-old record.

Morocco were the better side over 90 minutes but could not turn their domination into goals. Bernardo Silva chose to take a short corner with the help of Joao Moutinho, who crossed a teasing ball to the six-yard box.

The goal - Ronaldo's fourth in two games - made him the top-scoring European in worldwide football to dump Herve Renard's Morocco out of the World Cup.

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Amrabat was furious at not being awarded a penalty after wrestling with Raphael Guerreiro and the entire squad erupted in outrage.

When they did manage to stop appealing and concentrate on playing, Morocco looked unsafe and were the dominant side in the second half.

The result was harsh on Morocco, as was their loss against Iran in their opening game, but it reflected their difficulty producing the telling final ball, despite so much good work in the other two thirds of the pitch.

The most important thing for our team is for Cristiano Ronaldo to be well.

Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio made a fantastic diving low save to touch clear Younes Belhanda's sharp header but Medhi Benatia's blazed effort over the bar was more typical of their finishing from half-a-dozen reasonable chances and they paid the ultimate price for their lack of a proven goalscorer.

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