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FIFA World Cup 2018: Cristiano Ronaldo set to repeat masterclass against Morocco

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Subhayan Chakraborty | Updated on: 19 Jun 2018, 04:47:16 PM
FIFA World Cup 2018: Cristiano Ronaldo set to repeat masterclass against Morocco

New Delhi:

Cristiano Ronaldo will attempt to follow up on his FIFA World Cup opening game masterclass for Portugal against Morocco on Wednesday at Luzhniki Stadium. 

The star forward scored a hattrick and snatched a nail-biting 3-3 draw for the European champions against Spain in a battle of heavyweights in Sochi.

It was the 51st World Cup hattrick and co-incidently Ronaldo's 51st career too, as the Real Madrid southpaw became the fourth player to score in four World Cups.

"I am very happy, it's a nice personal record to have, one more in my career," said Ronaldo.

"For me the most important thing is to emphasise what the team did against one of the favourites to win this World Cup." 

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

"I think we are stronger than Morocco if we compare the two teams, but I'm not saying the game will be easy for us," striker Andre Silva told reporters at Portugal's training base.

"We cannot underestimate them and must have respect for any opponent. Any game at the World Cup is difficult." 

Portugal will face Morocco for only the second time after the Selecção das Quinas were defeated 3-1 in the group stage at the 1986 finals.

Morocco returned to the World Cup after 20 years of struggle as they did not concede a single goal in the final qualifying round, but their hopes of qualifying to the knockout stages hang by a thread after Aziz Bouhaddouz scored a 95th-minuted own goal against Iran.

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First Published : 19 Jun 2018, 04:02:27 PM