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Portugal vs Morocco
2018 FIFA World Cup, Group B
It was a must-win game for Morocco and it looked like it.
They came out firing, pushing forward and making their intentions down early.
However, Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo, and he only needs one chance to bury the ball.
It took just four minutes for Portugal to take the lead and Ronaldo to get his fourth goal of the World Cup via a header from closer range.
The goal didn’t take the sting out of Morocco, who kept to their game plan and continued to take risks.
The Moroccans gave Portugal a lot of trouble and played some brilliant football in the process.
But despite creating many chances, them failed to convert any of them into a goal and the first half ended one-nil in favour of the Portuguese.
It was a similar story in the second half.
Morocco came out quickly, looking to get something back.
They came incredibly close on a number of occasions, with Belhanda having his header stunningly saved by Rui Patricio who really kept Portugal ahead in the second half.
Morocco dominated the entire second half. They had chance after chance after chance.
But they just could not score.
Morocco becomes the first team officially out of the World Cup. They can not mathematically qualify for the Round of 16 – and they did it losing two games that they should have won by one goal to nil.
Portugal will be searching for their first win of the World Cup when they take on a desperate Morocco side. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 10pm (AEST).
After a stunning 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening fixture, Portugal will go into the second round of group games looking for something more straightforward.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave his side the lead twice against the Spanish and ended up saving them at the death with a stunning last-minute free-kick.
His hat-trick makes him the competition’s joint top-scorer and the favourite to take the golden boot.
While Ronaldo shined, the rest of the squad looked uninspiring and will need to step their game if Portugal is to go deeper into the tournament.
Morocco looked phenomenal in bursts in their opening game against Iran, however, they failed to capitalise on their dominance.
In the end, an injury-time own-goal broke their hearts and put them in an incredibly difficult position going forward.
During that game, the Moroccans were quick in attack but vulnerable to being countered – and it was some poor decision making by Iran that stopped them from going behind in normal time.
Sitting at the bottom of Group B, a draw against Portugal would mean they rely on the Iranians not to lose to Spain.
A loss makes qualification for the next round mathematically impossible.
Portugal 1-0 Morocco
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 10pm AEST.