After a masterclass performance in the group opener against Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo will be leading out his Portuguese teammates against the Atlas Lions of Morocco in what is a crucial game for both teams.
Ronaldo singlehandedly got Portugal a point in the feisty clash against Spain last time out and the expectation will, as usual, be high from the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
With Morocco losing their opening game painfully to Iran, they would have to get something from this game to stay in the hunt for glory in Russia.
Egypt are already on the brink of exit from the World Cup after losing their second game of the tournament against Russia on Tuesday and Morocco may follow suit if they also lose this afternoon.
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Kickoff is 1.pm
PORTUGAL: Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; Mario, Moutinho, Carvalho, B.Silva; Guedes, Ronaldo
MOROCCO: Munir; Diarar, Benatia, Da Costa, Hakimi; El Ahmadi, Boussoufa; N.Amrabat, Belhanda, Ziyech; Boutaib
The team are out on the pitch as we start with the Portugal national anthem and Morocco’s follow after
Kickoff… Morocco get the game underway
Morocco start bright and have their first attempt but it is off target
Portugal win this first corner kick after a deflected shot
Goal number four for Ronaldo
Ronaldo becomes the all-time European goalscorer in international football as he heads a Moutinho corner into the back of the net from close range. He is off once again
Another chance for Ronaldo but goes off the post
CHANCE for Mbark Boussoufa from Morocco but his header goes wide
Another chance for the Moroccans.. but Portugal keeper makes a good save
Ball possession so far is in favour of the Lions : Portugal: 45%, Morocco: 55%.
Amarbat concedes a free kick and Portugal take a quick one
CHANCE… Morocco find their way through the Portuga box but the ball is intercepted
Another fine attempt by Morocco but Portugal keeper makes a save
FOUL… Ronaldo hacked down by the Morocco players
Morocco make a shout for a penalty waved off the referee.. he however gives Portugal a similar free kick
Ronaldo to take the kick… straight into the ball this time, he could not bend it in
Morocco keeper, Munir saves a goal-bound shot there! Goncalo Guedes found himself in a great scoring position but Munir denied him with a great save
The American ref finally flashes his card.. Medhi Benatia from Morocco is booked after several committed fouls.
Morocco’s Belhanda is down receiving treatment following a stray arm from Carvalho
The game is back on and there is three minutes added time
Miss!!! the ball glances across the Portugal post
HALF TIME: Portugal 1-0 Morocco
Morocco actually edged the first-half possession with 52%, while they managed seven attempts – two of which were on target. Portugal, meanwhile, hit the target with two of their five attempts. Just the one yellow card to report, and that came for Benatia in the 40th minute for a late challenge on Ronaldo. Hopefully, there will be more goals in the second half.
Second half back underway
Fonte heads narrowly wide of the Morocco post, but the flag had been raised for a foul
MISS!!! Ronaldo fires over the bar from inside the Morocco box
Another save by Portugal keeper.
Patricio has denied the Moroccans on a number of occasions today
Chance! Medhi Benatia finds some room for a shot but rises over the bar again
Morocco SUB: Khalid Boutaib replaced by Ayoub Kaabi.
PORTUGAL SUB! Bruno Fernandes replaces Mario for Portugal.
DO YOU KNOW: Ronaldo has become the first Portugal player since José Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup tournament. Source @optajoe
Morocco win a free kick and Benatia comes close again but the header won’t just go in
After series of pressure, Morocco win a corner kick
Free kick … Ronaldo wins a free kick at the edge of box
Straight into the wall another poor effort by Ronaldo
Morocco SUB: Fajr comes in for Karim El Ahmad
CHANCE: Morocco almost gets the equalizer… Hakim Ziyech sees his shot deflected off target
Five minutes added time