An important 1-0 win at the Luzhniki stadium in the Portugal Vs Morocco for Portugal means that the Selecção das Quinas are now level at the top of Group B after Spain also won 1-0 vs Iran. Group B is now more or less confirmed it’s qualifying teams, although nothing can be said as unexpected events have taken place in this FIFA World Cup such as Mexico upsetting Germany, Argentina drawing with Iceland and Brazil held by Switzerland.
Records tumbled on this monumental day which saw some expected goal scorers in various matches- Ronaldo, Costa and Suarez all finding the the net as all the familiar sides raked up wins, albeit narrow ones (all 1-0).
Here are 5 interesting take-aways from the Portugal Vs Morocco encounter:-
Portugal’s Creative Force Slowly Coming To Life
Bernardo Silva’s short corner to Joao Moutinho got Portugal the lead and the eventual winner with just four minutes into the Portugal Vs Morocco game. The short ball led him to whip a cross to the edge of the six-yard box. Manuel da Costa of Morocco lost track of Ronaldo, a blunder that given the distance, was deadly as the Portuguese fired in a typical header.
Bernardo Silva vs Morocco
2 Long balls
1 Pre- assist
89% Pass accuracy
9 Dribbles completed (Most)
4 Chances Created (Most)
A touch of class pic.twitter.com/B0XhhMSLOy
— amin (@RM26i) June 20, 2018
Not only this, Raphael Guerreiro was also in fine touch, lending in some deft passes and using nifty footwork to supply the attacking outlet of Portugal.
Thus, again Portugal are rediscovering the secrets to their success by creating chances for the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo and the job shall be done. Their defence need a shout-out as well, for managing to keep a clean-sheet even after some great attack-ins from the Moroccons in the Portugal Vs Morocco encounter.
Morocco Out But Not Disgraced
Morocco now know that they will most certainly be heading home after the group stage of the FIFA World Cup 2018, but they will not depart in disgrace.
They gave their fervent supporters plenty to cheer under the Moscow sunshine and just as in their opening 1-0 defeat by Iran, can count themselves unlucky to leave empty-handed.
The talk before the game was whether Herve Renard’s side had a plan to stop Ronaldo. While the former Cambridge United manager did not manage to do that, he surely found a way to open up the Portugal defence.
Morocco Coach Herve Renard on Cristiano Ronaldo. pic.twitter.com/ssxZ2nfUE7
— Zeeshan⁷ (@FinishRonaldo) June 20, 2018
Morocco created chances with relative ease, but failed to really capitalize on them. Centre-back Benatia had as many attempts to score as perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo himself.
Morocco in recent memory at least, became one of the all-round talented sides to be ousted first, that too it is expected to leave without a point since they face Spain next.
This World Cup May Not Be That Free-Scoring After All
The Spain-Portugal 3-3 draw and the opening day goal fest of 5-0 for Russia against Saudi Arabia led us to believe that the goals would be free-flowing in The Motherland, but a recent slew of 1-0 wins means there have been a total of nine 1-0 wins this time round. Other common score-lines have been 1-1 and 2-1. Penalties are almost a certainty in most games of this FIFA World Cup while own goals also have their fair share.
Both the second-day matches of Group B ended in low scoring 1-0 wins for Portugal Vs Morocco and Spain Vs Iran.
"Iran should be proud" 👊💪@chris_sutton73 praises Iran after giving 'absolutely everything' vs Spain 👏👏
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) June 20, 2018
This just goes to show that the ‘gap’ between a top-class and an average team in a FIFA World Cup is of little relevance and is further reducing with improved training regimes and other modernized facilities available to most decent national sides.
It’s A Race For Top Spot
Both Spain and Portugal are locked on points and goal difference on the top spot in Group B. La Roja take on Iran while Spain look to conquer Morocco next.
— PTV Sports (@PTVSp0rts) June 21, 2018
It would be imperative to say that both the rivals want to finish their group as leaders and thus avoid Russia, who surprisingly have been greatly impressive this far. Backed by the Partisan home crowd, Denis Cheryshev and co. could stage a big upset in the Round of 16 and a lackluster Uruguay seems a more feasible opponent to face. At least they are not backed by Putin power.
Cristiano Ronaldo Wants The Golden Boot
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his sensational start to the World Cup by scoring the only goal of the Portugal Vs Morocco game as Selecção das Quinas knocked The Lions Of The Atlas out of the tournament.
All eyes at the Luzhniki Stadium were on the Real Madrid star after his hat-trick in Portugal’s opening game with Spain and typically, he did not disappoint.
It took the captain only four minutes to make his mark in the way Morocco had feared, diving to get on the end of a Joao Moutinho cross and planting an unstoppable header into the net. Portugal’s over-reliance on Ronaldo is there for all to see and perhaps plan against but he doesn’t mind.
Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's highest ever scorer in international football when he struck an early goal in Portugal's Group B match against Morocco. https://t.co/hNbM5xXRJv pic.twitter.com/ufFAhdn3mc
— China Plus News (@ChinaPlusNews) June 20, 2018
Another day, another record in the bag as the leading European top-scorer sets his sights on a fidgety Iran. This might very well be his last World Cup run and while others keep on waiting for the Navigators to fall, the crusading Ronaldo might drag them into deep waters all by himself. Also, he wants that World Cup Golden Boot, a trophy that has eluded him for the past three editions.