World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo shines as Portugal beat Morocco

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Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Reuters

KATHMANDU: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal also the fourth of the tournament and his 85th international goal against Morocco to snatch a narrow 1-0 win at Luzhiniki Stadium in Moscow today.

Rolando drilled in a fourth-minute header from six yards out to the centre of the goal assisted by Joao Moutinho with a cross following a corner.

Earlier, Portugal had played a 3-3 draw with Spain. After today’s game, Portugal leads the Group B with four points followed by Iran and Spain with three and one points respectively.

Morocco have lost two games in a row and sit in the bottom of the table. They will play their last group game against Spain on June 25.

Morocco goalie Munir’s one-handed reflex save prevented Guedes from doubling their lead after put through on goal by prolific striker Ronaldo in the 39th minute.

In the closing stage of the first half, Rui Patricio made a diving save off Morocco’s skipper Banetia’s powerful header, to keep the lead intact.

After the break, Morocco upped the ante looking for an equaliser, however, rookie goalie Rui Patricio pulled two outstanding saves in space of two minutes, including one-handed save off Younes Belhanda’s header.

Morocco’s most of the chances fell to unlikely source skipper Medhi Benatia but he miscued his shots up and over the bar from the promising area.

Hakim Ziyech beat a couple of defenders inside the D-box before unleashing a powerful goal which diverted off Portuguese defender in the dying minutes of the second half.

In today’s other fixtures, Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia (8:45 pm) before Iran play against Spain in late kick-off (11:45 pm).

International goal records

Iranian Ali Daei tops the scoring chart with 109 goals in 149 caps next to Cristiano Ronaldo (85) followed by Hungarian duo Ferenc Puskas (84), Sandor Kocsis (75), Miroslav Klose (71) and Lionel Messi (64).

Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 85th international goals in 152 matches; more than any other European player in the history of international football.

Germany’s Miroslav Klose tops the World Cup goal scoring record with 16 strikes.

 

 

Written by Mausam
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