Ronaldo header lifts Portugal over Morocco

Kirill Zykov  Moskva News Agency

Kirill Zykov Moskva News Agency

The 33-year-old became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the tournament in his side's opening 3-3 draw with Spain, drawing level with Ferenc Puskas as Europe's most prolific global goalscorer on 84 in the process.

Ronaldo's goal was his fourth goal of the tournament, more than his combined tally at three previous finals, and left him trailing just Iran's Ali Daei (109) on the list of top global scorers.

Ronaldo's brilliant hat-trick earned Portugal a point against Spain in the first game but Morocco have to bounce back from defeat to Iran in opening match.

Portugal faces off with Morocco in their second match of Group B play at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation on Wednesday.

"He's the best. And like I said, for us we are very proud to be counting on him every game, to have him on the pitch and to be supporting [him] to be able to score".

Morocco coach Herve Renard is expecting Portugal to give his side a tougher game than they had against Iran.

A frustrated Fernando Santos has hit out at suggestions that Portugal rely too heavily on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Portugal were defensively resolute and did just enough to win, although it wasn't just Amrabat who felt the officials favoured the European champions.

Morocco and Portugal played each other at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and the Moroccans won 3-1 to enter the round of 16 while Portugal finished last.

A Selecao head into the Group B clash having hit the back of the net at least twice in nine of their past 10 World Cup games (including qualifiers), while they are also unbeaten in those 10 matches. "We knew how to suffer".

And he says the Danes are better team than world No.7 France, who pipped Australia 2-1 in the tournament opener.

And he claims there is no reason why the 33-year-old could not play at the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022. They were only defending. "We will try to come first in the group".

"As in the first game, we had a lot of chances and I won't criticise anyone".

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