Portugal v Morocco Match Review

I could sit here and just write an entire article about Ronaldo and his goatee, but apparently there is a game of football happening!

Morocco will come out hoping to repeat history and win against this Portuguese side like they did in 1986, which gave Morocco their first ever World Cup win.

Portugal has dropped Bruno Fernandes, after he had an underwhelming performance in his World Cup debut against France.

In just four minutes Ronaldo scores with a header from a corner. (One of a few times in life where it is acceptable to finish so early.) This was Ronaldo’s 85th goal, he has now scored more international goals than any other European player in the history of football, not a bad effort! Giving him four goals in two matches, he is hunting down the golden boot, now only one behind Own Goal.

Amrabat took to the field in head gear after suffering from concussion in Morocco’s previous match against Iran. After sixteen minutes he has had enough of his fashion statement, and discarded his head gear after it slipped whilst he made a tackle. The concussion didn’t seem to influence his play, seemingly playing a very solid game down the wings.

Morocco almost drew level in the 11th minute, but were unable to convert a header, but they are dominating possession, and working hard to break through the Portuguese defence whilst providing a solid defence line themselves. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket just yet Portugal, Morocco are coming for you! Of course it wouldn’t be a game of soccer without some controversy involving VAR! Morocco denied a VAR review for a tackle outside the penalty area, Amrabat goes down after pressure from Guerreiro, but the ref waves play on. VAR may be consulted, but *crickets* Herve can be seen talking to the officials on the sideline, but they are not interested.

Meanwhile after a similar incident up Portugal’s end they are awarded a free kick, they are clearly able to provide the referees more money than Morocco. Ronaldo steps up and kicks it straight into the wall.

To bring the half to a close Ronaldo passes to Guedes, who kicks it straight to the keeper. The half time break has Portugal up 1-0, perhaps lucky, perhaps because they have Ronaldo! Since that fourth minute Morocco have been a lot more settled, and determined. If the game could be won on determination and not giving up I would have to put Morocco up at half time.

We then fire up into the second half, Portugal come out strong, and then Ronaldo earns a free kick and sends the ball high. From here Morocco seem to take the upper hand of the game play if only they could convert this possession into a goal. Belhanda the one to stretch the Portugal the most with his shot on goal in the 55th minute. Morocco seemingly the masters of build-ups but unable to finish.

Morocco appeal for a penalty in the 64th minute when a cross hit the arm of a defender, but the defender was deemed as too close to the attacker to get his arm out of the way.

Both sides now getting desperate, but not able to convert any play into something that counts on the score board BUT THEN Ronaldo is taken down just inches outside of the box by Benatia.

Ronaldo kicks it into wall and follows up the rebound where he is clipped by Amrabat. Ronaldo falls to the ground, and gestures for the VAR…. No deal!

Morocco refusing to lie down and give in giving it everything they have in the final moments of the game but to no avail. Ronaldo once again providing to be the difference, Morocco unable to repeat the history of 1986.

Morocco finishing with 55% of the possession the question hanging over Morocco now is, what do they have to do to score?…

By Michelle Reid