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

Lydia FlemingJun 20, 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo's early header in Portugal's 1-0 win over Morocco at the World Cup was his 85th goal for his country - breaking the European record.

Ronaldo's well taken header in the 4th minute of the game took his tally to four goals in the tournament as he scored more than any other player at the World Cup.

Instead it was Morocco, who lost their Group B opener 1-0 to Iran, who were the more aggressive side, missing half a dozen clear scoring chances and the Portuguese conceding far too much space.

It was his 85th global goal, taking him beyond Hungarian Ferenc Puskás European record, with only Iran's Ali Daei ahead of him on 109. Portugal was pinned back for long periods as Morocco attacked in waves without causing any major scares, and they might have extended their lead when Ronaldo played Goncalo Guedes into the box but Munir stood tall and made a one-handed save.

In 1986 World Cup, Morocco thrashed Portugal by 3-1.

When they managed to stop appealing and resumed play, Morocco looked risky and were the dominant side in the second half.

Read on four our top three Portugal vs Morocco tips of the bets from this game.

Morocco Will Complete 2026 World Cup Infrastructure Projects Despite Defeat
Morocco, on the other hand, promised a "European" World Cup in Africa, playing on the north African nation's proximity to Europe. The 2026 World Cup will have 48 teams playing a total of 80 games - 60 are planned in the USA and 10 each in Canada and Mexico.

Portugal was powered by Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick in its opening match of group play, with his late free kick securing a dramatic 3-3 draw vs. Spain.

This is the World Cup 2018 match between Portugal and Morocco.

Later in the day, Spain are back in action and will be expected to get the job done against Iran in another Group B tussle. With Spain also big favorites against Iran and Morocco, goal difference could make a difference in the standings.

Ronaldo had previously struggled at the World Cup but the five-time Ballon d'Or victor has flown out of the blocks in the 2018 edition so far.

Renard's team continued to dominate the possession as the match entered its final 15 minutes, but Portugal were remaining strong at the back as they closed on their first win of the tournament.

Portugal had one man to thank for not losing their opening game - and the identity of that man is hardly a surprise.

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