VIDEO : Cristiano Ronaldo nets his fourth of the tournament

Cristiano Ronaldo's early goal secures all three points for Portugal from a highly-contested clash versus Morocco.

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A thrilling 3-3 draw against Spain showcased Cristiano Ronaldo’s elegance once again when he completed his hat-trick from a majestic free-kick in closing minutes to snatch a point from the 2010 World Cup champions.

Portugal, meanwhile, contested Morocco this afternoon with both teams looking for their maiden win of the ongoing World Cup event and the game, once again, proved to be a Cristiano Ronaldo show when his early header made all the difference in an enthralling encounter. Back to back defeats have now shattered Morocco’s knockout hopes who once again dominated the show but failed to convert the chances created.

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The champions of Euro 2016 earned an early lead when Ronaldo headed home from Joao Moutinho’s free-kick. But the game was mostly dominated by the Africans ever since as Hakim Ziyech and Nordin Amrabat kept on creating chances high up the pitch. Skipper Medhi Benatia missed out a few chances as well and the lack of a prolific finisher resulted in yet another 1-0 defeat similar to their IR Iran outing.

Portugal, however, are yet to secure a place in the Round of 16 and must clinch a result versus Carlos Queiroz, the former Portugal gaffer, who has built Team Melli from the scratch. They are way too much dependent on the genius Cristiano but the stars of Bernardo Silva, Gelson Martins, Joao Moutinho’s caliber are capable of performing much better compared to their current run. Fernando Santos, their gaffer, must choose his best lineup versus Iran who are well-equipped to cause an upset.

Portugal vs Morocco Lineups:

Portugal: Rui Patricio, Cedric Soares, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro, William Carvalho, Joao Mario (Bruno Fernandes 70′), Joao Moutinho (Adrien Silva 89′), Bernardo Silva (Gelson Martins 59′), Golcalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Morocco: Munir, Nabil Dirar, Medhi Benatia, Manuel da Costa, Achraf Hakimi, Karim El Ahmadi (Faycal Fajr 86′), Mbark Boussoufa, Nordin Amrabat, Younes Belhanda (Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez 75′), Hakim Ziyech, Khalid Boutalib (Ayoub Kaabi 70′).

Portugal vs Morocco Highlights:

Portugal vs Morocco Match Stats:

Portugal Morocco
Final Score  1 0
Possession  45% 55%
Shots (on Target)  8(2) 13(4)
Passing Accuracy  73% 77%
Corners  4 6
Offsides  1 1
Fouls (Bookings) 18(1) 19(1)

 

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