-By Soul Sword-
This was the first eliminator game of the 2018 Fifa World Cup as Portugal and Morocco faced each other. Morocco needed to win the match in order to survive in the tournament. The match got off with Morocco immediately attempting a shot at goal. This was soon followed by Portugal who earned themselves a corner in 4’, which Christiano Ronaldo converted into a beautiful header scoring his 4th goal of the tournament. The game continued with both the sides earning free kicks. Morocco seemed to be in a better form than Portugal with their accurate passes and shots on target. At 39’ Ronaldo almost scored another goal but it Moroccan goalkeeper El Kajoui made a brilliant save denying him the opportunity. The first half finished with a free kick from Morocco which was missed, keeping the score at Portugal 1-0 Morocco.
The second half commenced with Ronaldo attempting a shot at goal but it goes too high over the goalpost. Portugal seemed very lethargic in their gameplay as opposed to Morocco who were aiming shots at goal everytime they got an opportunity. At 54’ Rui Patricio saved an attempt by Morocco. At 56’ Morocco earned a free kick which was taken by Ziyach and received by Belhanda who headed it into the goalpost but Portuguese Goalkeeper Rui Patricio dived in and saved it, making this his best save so far in the tournament. Ziyach had many chances at scoring but none of them was converted as they all missed the goal post by a few feet. It was only at 71’ that Portugal tried to score again but Fernandes’ shot went too wide. After a tackle gone wrong Portugal got a free kick at 83’ which was taken by Ronaldo but his shot ended up hitting the wall. At the 89’ Ziyach again tried to score for Morocco but it was well defended. The match extended into 5’ of extra time but none of the teams managed to score in that time and at full time the match ended with Portugal winning with a score of 1-0. Portugal’s Adrien Silva and Morocco’s Benatia were yellow carded at this match.
Morocco has been eliminated from the tournament but they had played more enthusiastically than their opponents. They played as a team and had more shots on target than Portugal. They put up a strong defence which prevented Portugal to score further goals.
At the start of the match, a Moroccan supporter was seen holding up a banner which said: “Ronaldo, Keep Calm and Don’t Score”. The usually aggressive Ronaldo did keep calm, but he scored one of the most important goals of his career today. Christiano Ronaldo broke the record today with this goal, making him the “highest international goal scoring European Player”. He has played 152 matches for Portugal and scored 85 goals, breaking Ferenc Puskás’s record. This winning goal also put him in the lead for the Golden Boot Chart for the 2018 Fifa World Cup bringing his total goals to 4.