Ronaldo shoulders Portugal against Morocco, becomes top European goalscorer for national teams

Emmett Rice
June 21, 2018

Ronaldo's fourth goal in two games made him the top-scoring European in worldwide football as Portugal beat Morocco 1-0 in Moscow to dump Herve Renard's men out of the World Cup.

Ronaldo's fourth goal of Russian Federation 2018, following his hat-trick in the 3-3 draw with Spain, took the European champions to four points.

Ronaldo surpassed Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas as Europe's all-time leading scorer with 85 global goals as Portugal moved top of Group B ahead of Spain's game against Iran in Kazan.

Despite their battling display, Morocco will rue the unforgivable defending that made all their subsequent good work irrelevant - though they claimed a Portuguese foul was at the root of it.

Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's top global scorer, but Portugal were lucky to come out on top against a resilient Morocco.

Portugal defender Pepe said it was a "privilege" for the country to have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid star's dazzling display against Spain on Friday.

Speaking during his post-match press conference, Renard said: "We qualified for a World Cup after 20 years and we've showed that we can play football".

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Ronaldo moved past Puskas as Europe's top global goal scorer.

Although Ronaldo was spectacular against Spain and his tally included a late free kick, Morocco's defense has not let an opposing player score in World Cup qualifying since 2015.

Mehdi Benatia forced a smart low save from Rui Patricio at a corner for Morocco, before Hakim Ziyach skipped his way into the Portugal area, his goal-bound effort blocked by an outstretched leg. "Portugal have the capacity to do better than we played against Spain and I hope we can correct our mistakes".

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Morocco dominated its opening match against Iran but lost 1-0 on an own-goal by forward Aziz Bouhaddouz in stoppage time.

Morocco coach Herve Renard was wary of the Ronaldo threat before the match and admitted any plans to stop the Portugal talisman in particular may backfire as his side look to avoid an early exit from the tournament.

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