Cristiano Ronaldo will attempt to follow up his World Cup opening game heroics for Portugal against a Morocco side licking their wounds after a crushing last-gasp defeat.
Glorious Chance: Selfishness from Ziyach may just have cost Morocco a goal here. The left-footed played found space inside the D and when he should have passed the ball to a free player in front of the goal, he opted to shoot and the ball hit Pepe and went for a corner. 5 minutes of injury-time left to be played now.
Free-kick: Benatia is playing with fire at the moment as he fouls Ronaldo on the line of the D and Portugal almost had a penalty kick. Referee points for a free-kick and Ronaldo is taking his famous steps just behind the ball. However, his strike hits the wall, much to the delight of the Morocco fans. 5 mins left to be played in the half.
Back the other way Joao Moutinho tries to curl in a free kick to the back post but William Carvalho collides with El Kajoui for a free kick. Portugal are trying their best to keep Morocco at bay but they are knocking at the door very strongly now. 65 minutes have been played and Portugal still lead 1-0.
Save and Save: Excellent double save Rui Partricio to keep Portugal's lead intact. First, he caught a shot from Belhanda from the edge of the box. And then one minute later, Ziyach sent a cross in from the free-kick and the shot was saved acrobatically by the keeper. 55 minutes played and Portugal still lead.
Stat Attack: Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's all-time leading international scorer with 85 goals when he headed in Portugal's opening strike against Morocco. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal's dramatic 3-3 draw against Spain on Friday to match Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas as Europe's record top scorer with 84 goals.
Free-kick: Stunning piece of play from both the teams as end to end football is being played by Portugal and Morocco. After a penalty shout is dismissed by the referee, following a Fonte challenged, Benatia on the other side brings down Mario. Ronaldo hits the free-kick but the ball strikes the wall. Portugal lead 1-0 after 31 minutes.
Penalty Shout: Moroccan players make a huge appeal after Rafael 'downs' Amrabat on the right flank, supposedly inside the box. However, referree says nothing doing and even Morocco coach Renard's shouting on the touch-line doesn't convince the referee to change his mind and go for VAR. 27 minutes played and Portugal still lead 1-0
Cristiano Ronaldo. (FIFA Image)
A hat-trick from the five-time world player of the year snatched a thrilling 3-3 draw for the European champions against Spain in a heavyweight Group B showdown in Sochi. It was Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick, and the 51st in the tournament's history, as the Real Madrid star became just the fourth player to score in four World Cups. "I am very happy, it's a nice personal record to have, one more in my career," said Ronaldo. "For me the most important thing is to emphasise what the team did against one of the favourites to win this World Cup." Despite lifting the trophy at Euro 2016, Portugal are not widely viewed as among the favourites in Russia but can take a big step towards the last 16 with victory over Morocco in Moscow on Wednesday.
"I think we are stronger than Morocco if we compare the two teams, but I'm not saying the game will be easy for us," striker Andre Silva told reporters at Portugal's training base. "We cannot underestimate them and must have respect for any opponent. Any game at the World Cup is difficult." It will be just the second meeting between the two countries, after Morocco beat Portugal 3-1 in the group stage at the 1986 finals. Morocco did not concede a single goal in the final qualifying round as they sealed a return to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years, but their knockout hopes hang by a thread after a 95th-minute own goal by Aziz Bouhaddouz against Iran. Herve Renard's men face a monumental challenge, with games to come against Portugal and Spain, but midfielder Faycal Fajr is adamant all is not lost for the Atlas Lions.
"If I said that we don't believe we can qualify it would be a lie," said Fajr, one of 17 players born abroad in Morocco's 23-man squad. I could throw out some examples, like the Argentina draw (1-1 with Iceland). Where there's a will there's a way. (The Portuguese) have two feet, two legs and they are humans like us. We lost a battle but we haven't lost the war. We're not dead," he added." Renard lamented that Morocco were "crucified by our own errors" in the loss to Iran, but the Frenchman is used to defying the odds, having led outsiders Zambia to a surprise triumph at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. He then became the first coach to win the continental title with two different teams three years later, guiding the Ivory Coast to glory. Morocco will need Renard to conjure up more magic to prevent an early exit, although Fajr says the mood in the camp remains positive. "Even after the defeat, the atmosphere was terrific," he said. "We've been waiting for this moment for 20 years, all Moroccans have been waiting for this for 20 years. We're one big family."
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