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Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe’s top goalscorer following Portugal’s 1-0 victory over Morocco in the World Cup match on Wednesday, June 20.
The 33-year-old Ronaldo headed a goal in the fourth minute coming off an exquisite cross from Joao Moutinho. It also marked Ronaldo’s 85th career goal for Portugal, surpassing the record of 84 goals by Ferenc Puskas of Hungary. Puskas played for his country in international competitions from 1945 to 1956.
In addition, the goal was also Ronaldo’s fourth in this year’s World Cup. Prior to their game against Morocco, the Real Madrid star scored a hat-trick in Portugal’s 3-3 draw over Spain. It was also Portugal’s first victory in Russia to lead Group B with four points after two games.
Portugal Established Control Early
Coming off a morale-boosting draw against Spain, the Portuguese immediately put themselves in cruise control as they bombarded the Moroccan side with a series of attacks. The continuous pressure immediately resulted in a goal by Ronaldo to put Portugal up 1-0 early against Morocco.
Nonetheless, that goal did little to affect the morale of the Moroccans who made every effort to equalize. Morocco had a chance to level things when the team claimed that a penalty should’ve been awarded to them after arguing that Noureddine Amrabat fouled Raphael Guerreiro just inside the penalty box.
Regardless, the Moroccans kept on attacking the Portuguese wall and almost scored a goal just 10 minutes into the second half. Wily scorer Younes Belhanda headed the ball but Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio was there to prevent him from scoring. It proved to be the last opportunity the Moroccans had as they failed to create any shot opportunity thereafter.
The loss also eliminated Morocco from the competition. Morocco failed to get a point in their two games in Russia following a heartbreaking loss to Iran. It can be recalled that Morocco scored its own goal in their game against Iran, giving the latter a 1-0 victory.
Next For Portugal
For his incredible play on both ends of the floor, Ronaldo was recognized as the Man of the Match. With that goal, Ronaldo now only trails Iranian scoring machine Ali Daei who scored 109 goals for his country from 1993 to 2006. Ronaldo and the rest of Portugal hope to sustain their momentum when they take on Iran in their final Group B match this Monday at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk.
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