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Wednesday, June 20, 2018 11:08:07 PM
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Ronaldo confirms Portugal place in 2nd round

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Portugal\'s Cristiano Ronaldo (with blue captain\'s armband) heads the ball to score the opening goal during the group B match between Portugal and Morocco at the 2018 Soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday. Internet photo

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21st-Jun-2018       
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Sports Desk :
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his sensational start to the World Cup with the winner as Portugal knocked Morocco out of the tournament.
It was again the Ronaldo's magic as Portugal became the second team to confirm their place in the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2018 as they were lucky to scrape home by a solitary goal against spirited Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium in Russia.
Portugal shot into lead again to the brilliance of the Cristiano Ronaldo as he scored his fourth and also team's fourth goal to provide an early lead in the very fourth minute of the play.
The European Champions Portugal went into a defensive shell as Morocco knowing that a defeat in today's outing will see them packing home, played their heart out for the equalizer. But Portuguese defense lead by their goalkeeper stood the onslaught to keep the Moroccans from scoring. They goofed up numerous chances to score but most them were shot wide or the Portuguese GK thwarted those attempts.
To be honest it was again the maestro Cristiano Ronaldo who made all the difference. Where have we heard that before? His 85th for his country means he's now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football.
He put Portugal in a strong position to qualify and almost certain to qualify for the last 16 with four points from their first two games.
Morocco created plenty but lacked a killer instinct to find the cherished equalizer. They are going home as they lost first match to Iran and today to Portugal. Their last match is against former World Champions Spain.
Morocco, who last week failed in their bid to host the 2026 World Cup, became the first team to be eliminated from this one with one Group B game to go - but they did not go down without a fight.
Backed by thousands of noisy fans, who packed one end of the ground, they created enough chances to earn at least a draw - and would have got something out of the game with better finishing.
Too many of their shots flew wide, however, and the one time the North Africans did find the target with an effort of note, new Wolves keeper Rui Patricio produced a brilliant one-handed diving save to keep out Younes Belhanda's header.

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