Ronaldo makes European history as Portugal boots Morocco out of World Cup

World Cup 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Seek Victory Against Morocco

Morocco, despite an energetic, attack-minded performance, have become the first of the unfortunate teams to be kicked out of the World Cup.

Morocco manager Herve Renard said of the in-form Ronaldo, who scored a hat-trick against Spain, to L'Equipe: "Those who try to mount a plan against him, he always manages to find something to make the difference".

Morocco knew defeat would spell the end of their 2018 World Cup hopes and they were outstanding for most of the encounter, dominating possession against Fernando Santos defensive-minded outfit.

Morocco wasn't almost as fortunate in its opener, conceding a 95th-minute own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz to suffer a 1-0 loss to Iran.

Of all the high profile stars that took the field for their first 2018 World Cup soccer game, it was Ronaldo who lived up to the extreme hype.

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Portugal now has four points and leads Group B ahead of the late match between Iran and Spain.

Portugal once again relied upon Ronaldo to produce their best moments and the weaknesses evident throughout the rest of Santos' team belie their pre-tournament billing as one of the favourites.

Despite lifting the trophy at Euro 2016, Portugal are not widely viewed as among the favourites in Russian Federation but can take a big step towards the last 16 with victory over Morocco in Moscow on Wednesday.

Good afternoon and a warm welcome to our coverage of the Group B game between Morocco and Portugal.

You can watch the stream of the match from the Moscow Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.

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Morocco failed to convert their chances and are pointless and can not progress to the second round.

The Portugal captain met Joao Moutinho's cross to head home in the fourth minute at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, sealing a 1-0 win for the reigning European champions.

Hakim Ziyech also tested the Portugal goalkeeper from distance in the 22nd minute, and Morocco were the team on the front foot as they attempted to level the scores.

Morocco's defence weren't particularly troubled by Iran, losing out only to an own goal, but this is a game in which they are likely to be severely tested.

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