Portugal 1-0 Morocco: Ronaldo goal the difference in Moscow

The African side were the better side throughout the 90 minutes but couldn't score

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Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal of the game as Portugal beat Morocco 1-0 to register their first win at the World Cup. 

However, this was far from an easy ride for the European champions, who were second best for large parts of the match and only escaped with three points thanks to sloppy finishing from their opponents. 

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in his country’s draw with Spain on Friday and it took him just four minutes to add his fourth goal of the finals in Moscow. The Real Madrid man was left unmarked at a corner as he thumped home a header. 

He now has 85 international goals, more than any other European (Ferenc Puskas scored 84). Iran’s Ali Daei (109) is the only player to ever score more for their country. 

If Ronaldo’s goal was supposed to open the floodgates, though, no one told Morocco, who were beaten by Iran in their opening fixture. 

The African side played some impressive football, only coming up short when the final touch was required. 

Younes Belhanda's header was brilliantly saved by Rui Particio but on far too many occasions Morocco failed to even test the Portugal keeper. 

They ended the game with 15 shots (to Portugal’s 10) and 55 percent of the possession but, like against Iran at the weekend, they missed out where it mattered most: the scoreline. 

The result means they become the first nation to officially exit the tournament in Russia. It will be of scant consolation that they were actually the better side in their two games. 

Now they prepare for their final match, against Spain, while Portugal go into their game against Iran with four points and in a good position to reach the last 16. 

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