Ronaldo’s landmark goal for Portugal eliminates Morocco

GK Rui Patricio

GETTY GK Rui Patricio

The Real Madrid star followed up his hattrick against Spain on Friday with a fourth-minute header which was his 85th goal for his country in 152 games.

The result puts Portugal in pole position of playing in the knock-out round with captain Cristiano Ronaldo extending his goal tally to four after just two games.

Morocco, who had a real go at the Luzhniki Stadium but failed to convert their chances, are pointless having also lost 1-0 to Iran and can not progress to the second round.

But the 1976 African champions gave a good account of themselves, shading possession over A Selecao das Quinas and completing more passes.

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"Please keep Pepe in your prayers after this assault from Benatia", the World Cup Goals account jokingly captioned the video.

Morocco's Nordin Amrabat claims that referee Mark Geiger asked for Portugal defender Pepe's shirt following the Group B fixture on Wednesday.

Suarez tapped in midway through the first half after keeper Mohammed Al-Owais failed to grab the ball on a corner.

Despite their battling display, Morocco will rue the unforgivable defending that made all their subsequent good work irrelevant.

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In the first game on Saturday, in sunny Kazan, though, the VAR was front and centre, with the referee Andre Cunha kept a busy man. We can be proud of the way we played against one of the best teams in the world. "I can't fault them, almighty effort today".

Ronaldo's 85th global goal made him Europe's all-time leading worldwide goalscorer as he broke Hungary legend Ferens Puskas's 62-year-old record. Bernardo Silva chose to take a short corner with the help of Joao Moutinho, who crossed a teasing ball to the six-yard box.

Portugal will play their last group game against Iran while Morocco face Spain, both on June 25. Amrabat was furious at not being awarded a penalty after wrestling with Raphael Guerreiro.

Mehdi Benatia forced a smart low save from Rui Patricio at a corner for Morocco, before Hakim Ziyach skipped his way into the Portugal area, his goal-bound effort blocked by an outstretched leg.

Ronaldo's four goals top the individual scoring chart at the World Cup.

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