The Portuguese national team must thank Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored the only goal to beat Morocco 1-0 in the 2018 World Cup qualifying group stage at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow on Wednesday (20/6).
Duel Portugal vs Morocco runs fiercely throughout the game. Morocco which from the beginning is not underdressed even able to provide tight resistance and courage to serve open game Portugal.
However, Portugal is lucky to have the figure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid’s superstar managed to steal a quick goal when the game was only four minutes through a hard header utilizing cross Joao Moutinho.
This became Ronaldo’s fourth goal in Russia after previously scoring a hat trick in the inaugural match against Spain. The 32-year-old attacker also broke the record as a European player who scored in the international arena.
Morocco is surprisingly capable of providing fierce resistance. Herve Renard’s landing squad is brave to play an open game and is able to present a series of serious threats, but can still be thwarted Rui Patricio who appear brilliant.
Patricio managed to secure a number of golden opportunities owned by Morocco including Mehdi Benatia’s header and hard shot Younes Belhanda in the first round.
The former Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper even made a brilliant save by brushing off a Berlhanda header in the second half, at exactly 57 minutes.
Portugal defense really tested Morocco attack in the final 15 minutes of action. After Medhi Benatia’s header was still sideways in the 79th minute, Judge Ziyech’s kick in the penalty box could still be blocked Pepe.
Morocco got a golden opportunity in injury time. Unfortunately Benatia shot utilizing the chaos in the penalty box still bounced over the bar. Portugal managed to maintain the advantage until the referee blew the long whistle.
Composition of Players:
Portugal XI (4-4-2): Rui Patricio; Cedric Soares, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, Bernardo Silva, Joao Moutinho, William Carvalho, Joao Mario, Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Morocco XI (4-2-3-1): Munir Mohamedi; Nabil Dirar, Medhi Benatia (c), Manuel da Costa, Achraf Hakimi, Karim El Ahmadi, Moubarak Boussoufa, Nordin Amrabat, Younes Belhanda, Judge Ziyech, Khalid Boutaib.