Morocco, one of the five African representatives, became the first team to be officially eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup after their 0-1 defeat to Portugal on Wednesday at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia.
The Atlas Lions conceded a goal very early in the fourth minute after Cristiano Ronaldo headed into the net a powerful cross delivered from the right wing by Joao Moutinho, following a short corner kick routine.
Ronaldo’s goal, his fourth in two games in the competition, ensured he became the highest European scorer in international football with 85 goals. He is the second highest goal scorer in international football, behind Ali Deai of Iran, who scored 105 goals.
Morocco upped the ante after the goal and piled up the pressure on the European champions; dominating possession and taking the game to the opponents’ penalty area.
However, they failed to create clear-cut chances in the first half but would feel that they should have had a penalty awarded to them after a Jose Fonte challenge on a Moroccan player.
The North African team began the second half in a much more energetic form; attacking Portugal harder and penetrating their defence.
Unlike the first half, they had a couple of chances in the second half. However, their two best chances fell to captain Medhi Benatia, but he blew them both to the consternation of his fellow players and manager, Herve Renard.
The Juventus defender met a cross from the team’s right wing in the 78th minute, but his header went wide off the mark.
Benatia was also gifted in the opportunity in added time when he received the ball in the box, he made a sharp turn and fired a shot with his left foot but the ball sailed over, leaving his team’s hope faded.
The result leaves Morocco with zero points from two games, which means they are automatically out as the other teams in group B; Portugal, Spain and Iran, cannot finish with less than three points.