World Cup

LIVE UPDATE: Portugal 1 vs 0 Morocco

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

FT: Cristiano Ronaldo = the difference. Where have we heard that before? His 85th for his country means he’s now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football and puts Portugal in a strong position to qualify for the last 16 with four points from their first two games. Morocco created plenty but lacked a killer final ball. They are going home.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

90+3: CHANCE! Benatia is at it again – he’s missed another! A long ball drops to him about 10 yards out….and he swipes a left foot strike that sails over the crossbar. He won’t sleep tonight.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

90: CHANCE! Ziyech finally makes something happen. He dribbles into the box and lets fly from 15 yards…Pepe puts his body on the line and deflects the ball over the crossbar!

FIVE MINUTES ADDED ON!

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

89: Morocco are running out of time. They can’t get the ball forward. It’s all too slow…..

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

87: SUB! Moutinho replaced by Adrien Silva. Portugal seeing this one out…

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

85: PENALTY APPEAL…NOT GIVEN! Ronaldo dribbles into the area…..he drops the shoulder and Amrabat comes across. Ronaldo goes down very theatrically. He wants a pen but the referee says no. VAR take a look but nothing doing – there was perhaps slight contact but nothing significant.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

83: FREE-KICK! Slapstick defending from Morocco. Ronaldo nips in on the edge of the box and is hauled down by Da Costa….Ronaldo steps up.

BLOCKED! Poor again from Ronaldo, straight into the wall.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

80: PRESSURE! Portugal are defending deep now. A corner from the left is won at the back post by Da Costa…it bobbles around the box but Fonte stabs it clear from under Amrabat’s nose. There are half-hearted appeals for a pen – but nothing given.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

77: CHANCE! Morocco have lost their spark but they still look a threat from set pieces. A ball in from the left finds Benatia about 12 yards out but his flicked header lacks power. Dribbles wide.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

73: Ronaldo has been quiet this half….but he comes to life on the right wing, producing a lovely flick to Gelson. The move breaks down it’s but lovely stuff from Ronaldo.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

70: SUBS! Joao Mario off. Fernandes on. Switch up top for Morocco too. Boutaib off, El Kaabi on.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

68: CLOSE! Portugal can’t get out of their half. Ziyech gets hauled down about 25 yards out. This is a good spot. Ziyech lines it up….he goes for precision but gets too much juice on the ball. Just over.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

65: Amrabat gets down the right again.  His first cross is blocked – he wants a penalty for handball, it’s not given. El Ahmadi recycles the play and sends one in. Ziyech goes up at the back post but he ends up heading the ball away from goal. More wastefulness from Morocco.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

61: CHANCE! Portugal living dangerously. Another set-piece is won by Benatia and the second ball drops his way. He smacks a half-volley from 15 yards but he blazes it over the crossbar. That’s their 11th shot on goal.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

59: SUB! Gelson replaces Bernardo Silva.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

57: SAVE! This one is pure class. Boussoufa whips one in from the right flank and Belhanda rises highest. He meets it with a fine header that is heading for the bottom corner….but Patricio at full-stretch flicks it away with one hand!

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

55: SAVE! Better from Morocco. Amrabat gets the ball and feeds Belhanda about 20 yards out. There’s space to work in and he tries to bend one into the far corner. Patricio gets across. Safe hands.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

53: CHANCE! Joao Mario finds acres of space down the left as Morocco switch off. He has options… Guedes is found but he takes a swing and a miss. It then drops to Ronaldo about 20 yards out…WILD! He spanks it 30 yards over the crossbar!

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

51: The spark has disappeared from Morocco. Portugal look strong with and without the ball – did Morocco put too much energy into that first-half showing.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

48: CORNER! Positive start by Portugal. Guedes forces a corner. It’s sent in by Silva and Fonte leaps….he connects but a foul is awarded for him climbing on Da Costa.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

46: We are back! Portugal get the game going. Morocco need a goal otherwise it’s curtains…

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

HT: Great game. Plenty of action and incident – mostly produced by Morocco, who are unfortunate to be behind. Portugal lead through, yes – you know it, Ronaldo after some slack defending from the north Africans. This one isn’t over yet. See you in 15.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

45+1: CHANCE! Amrabat has been pretty special this half. He wins a free-kick off Guerreiro on the right wing. The cross is flicked on Belhanda towards the back post…Benatia is charging in but the ball misses him by inches. Any contact and it would’ve been 1-1.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

45: INJURY! Belhanda is down on halfway. Carvalho bruised past him to win the ball but caught him with an accidental swinging arm. A dab of the magic sponge and the Moroccan play-maker is back up on his feet.

Three minutes added on.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

43: Portugal slowing this game down now. The Moroccans have kept their heads so far but you can sense a bit of frustration creeping in….

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

40: WHAT A CHANCE! Ronaldo plops a ball over the top for Guedes to chase. He gets there, steadies himself and volleys an effort from 15 yards that is batted clear by Mohamedi. Should have scored.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

38: Morocco’s build-up play has been impressive – especially down both wings. Boussoufa plays a tasty one-two but his final ball is cleared by Pepe.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

36: First lull in what’s been a pulsating half. Portugal will be happier after a very good spell for Morocco.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

31: FREE-KICK! Good break. Halted by a late tackle on Ronaldo about 22 yards out. This one is dead centre and only man is going to take it.

POOR! The crowd holds it’s breath….but despite the dramatic build-up and shorts maneuvers, he smacks it straight into the wall.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

29: PENALTY APPEAL…NOT GIVEN! Another appeal. Boutaib jumps with Fonte in the area and gets there first. Fonte barges him over….the referee says no.

The play continues with Portugal on the counter – the Morocco players want the referee to review the call but nothing doing.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

27: PENALTY APPEAL…NOT GIVEN! Amrabat again. He gets in behind Guerreiro, who has a hold of shirt as does Amrabat. The pair clash and the Morocco man takes a tumble just inside the box. The referee waves it away.

The VAR takes a look but the referee’s original decision stands.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

25: OUCH! Ronaldo comes short and Da Costa follows him. He leaves a naughty stud on the back of his ankle…Ronaldo takes a tumble. No lasting damage. He’s up.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

23: SHOT! Ziyech jinks into space as Carvalho falls asleep. He strikes from 25 yards. Patricio is right behind it. Safe hands.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

19: CHANCE! Amrabat leaves Guerreiro in his wake again – so much space.  He gets to the byline and has two waiting for the cross. Somehow Pepe deflects the ball away from danger inside his six-yard box.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

17: They may lack a bit of quality in the final third, but Morocco certainly have pace in attack. Portugal are finding it difficult to play out under their press.

BLOCK! Ziyech tricks his way past Cedric and it opens up on the left-edge of the box. He strikes…Pepe comes across. Super defending.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

14: More pressure from Morocco. Boussoufa wins a corner after yet more nippy play down the left. Benatia gets free at the back post this time but he’s always stretching…heads it well wide.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

12: CHANCE! Morocco should be level. A corner from the right is floated to the back post where Benatia is waiting – he’s free as a bird. The skipper heads one towards the bottom corner but it’s straight at Patricio. Safe hands.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

10: CHANCE! Dirar moves into a crossing position. He whips one into the near post and Boutaib flicks on…the ball loops towards the back post but loops just over the bar.

PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO

8: CLOSE! Guerreiro drives into acres of space behind the Morocco midfield. Ronaldo comes short and picks the ball up. He spins from 18 yards and pokes a low effort towards the bottom corner. Shaves the post!

GOAL! PORTUGAL 1-0 MOROCCO (Ronaldo, 5)

IT’S HIM AGAIN! HIS 85TH GOAL FOR PORTUGAL….

After a sleepy start, Portugal put the pressure on with a couple of a corners. After the first one is cleared back to Moutinho, he steadies himself and delivers a decent ball into the danger area. Da Costa has a brain freeze and decides ‘that Ronaldo doesn’t need marking’ – big Ron’s eyes light up and he powers a header home from eight yards under no pressure.

The Golden Boot is his to lose – that’s four already.

PORTUGAL 0-0 MOROCCO

2: CHANCE! Boussoufa sprints past Cedric down the left flank and clips a ball into the box. Boutaib gets in front of Pepe….his header is full of power but it flies a yard or two wide. Much like in their opener, Morocco have shot out of the blocks.

PORTUGAL 0-0 MOROCCO

1: KICK-OFF! Here we go. Morocco in red and green get the first kick – Portugal in all white.

HERE COME THE TEAMS!

Teams are out! Ronaldo all smiles at the head of the Portugal line…..

Time for the anthems.

OPTA STATS

  • Portugal have not lost against a non-European nation at the World Cup since June 2002, when they lost 1-0 to South Korea (W5 D3 since).
  • Morocco had 68% possession in their 1-0 defeat to Iran, the most by a losing team in a World Cup match since June 2010, when Spain had 73% possession against Switzerland but lost 1-0.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s three goals for Portugal against Spain made him the oldest hat-trick scorer in the history of the World Cup (33y 130d). His third goal in that game was also the first time he’d scored from direct free-kick at a major international tournament, at the 45th attempt.
  • Current Portugal manager Fernando Santos has only won one World Cup match (P5 W1 D3 L1), but it did come in his only previous game against African opponents, with his Greece side winning 2-1 against Ivory Coast in June 2014.

TEAM NEWS

MOROCCO TEAM NEWS

Team to play Portugal: Mohamedi, Dirar, Da Costa, Benatia, Hakimi, El Ahmadi, Boussoufa, Belhanda, Harit, Boutaib, Ziyech

PORTUGAL TEAM NEWS

Team to play Morocco: Patricio, Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro, Silva, Carvalho, Moutinho, Joao Mario; Ronaldo, Guedes

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