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

Kirill Zykov  Moskva News Agency

Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's all-time leading global scorer with 85 goals when he headed in Portugal's opening strike in their World Cup Group B match against Morocco today.

Portugal have no such concerns and will seek to win the group in their final game against Iran, while Morocco face Spain, both on June 25.

But his plans were torn apart within minutes at the Luzhniki Stadium as Ronaldo wriggled free of the imposing Da Costa to bury an unstoppable header past a helpless Monir El Kajoui.

They took an early lead through Ronaldo, who has now scored all four of their goals at this tournament, a close-range header after Morocco failed to clear a corner at the near post, but struggled going forward after that. Amrabat was furious at not being awarded a penalty after wrestling with Raphael Guerreiro.

Morocco, in their first finals appearance for 20 years, regrouped well and showed some real positivity in attack with Hakim Ziyech and Nordin Amrabat seeing plenty of the ball.

More news: Manafort Sent to Jail over Accusations of Witness-Tampering

Sportswear giant Adidas fuelled the debate prior to the World Cup with a cheeky promotional picture of Messi holding a goat.

A further opening fell to Benatia, the Juventus defender neatly shifting the ball onto his left boot only to lash over the bar as Morocco's frustrations mounted.

For Portugal, a win today puts them in a good shape for qualification to the next round whilst Morocco must win today in order not to suffer the same fate as Egypt who virtually got kicked out yesterday.

The lively Ziyach nipped past Fonte in the closing minutes but found Pepe standing in his way, with Benatia hammering over one final chance to seal Morocco's fate.

Morocco end their World Cup campaign against Spain on June 25, looking to sign out of Russian Federation with at least a goal to their name.

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