If there was ever a display which did not warrant a win, it has to be Portugal's. They took the lead in the fourth minute, but since then, were absolutely shambolic. Morocco were all over them for much of the match, but failed on the final product.
Ronaldo had given the Euro 2016 champions the lead with a header in 4th minute. But that was it. From then on, it was all Morocco as they dominated possession, and the chances.
They were unlucky on two occasions to not get a penalty. For Portugal, only Rui Patricio shone with a couple of brilliant saves. But apart from that, no one can look at their manager eye to eye, not even Ronaldo. Nevertheless, three points for them, and a step closer to the next round.
FULL TIME: Portugal 1-0 Morocco
90' + 5': Portugal have the ball where they want, and they keep possessio, frustrating the opponents.
90' + 3': Adrine Silva gets a yellow card for pulling back Morocco midfielder. The resulting free kick is put in, and not well defended by the Portugese defense. Tha ball falls to Benatia, who blasts his effort over from 10 yards out.
90' + 1': Pepe is at it again. Benatia puts his hand on the Portugese defender twice from behind, and he goes rolling down as if someone kicked him. Disgraceful from Pepe.
90': Corner for Morocco with extra time looming. Five minutes added on!
89': Final change by both the teams. Morocco take of Al Ahmadi. As for Portugal, Moutinho is the player making way for Adrien Silva.
85': Again, his free kick is straight the wall. From the rebound, he fools Al Ahmadi in the box, and the Morocco player catches him. But the referee doesn't feel that's a penalty.
84': Free kick right on the edge of the area. Ronaldo looks to break towards the goal, but Benatia stops his illegally. The Portugese skipper fancies it.
81': A lot of shoving and pushing has been going around in the Portugese penalty area. The Morocco players have been fuming all day, and have gotten another reason to complain.
78': Big chance for Morocco! They get a free kick on the right side. Ziyech whips in a brilliant delivery, but Benatia can't head it towards the goal.
75': Surprising change by Morocco. Influential Belhanda taken off, Carcela is brought in.
70': Morocco make their first change. El Kaabi comes in for Boutaib. At the same time, Portugal also decide to alter things. Joao Mario is taken off, and Bruno Fernandes comes in his place.
68': Good effort, but just over! The No.7 curls the ball over the ball, but it doesn't dip in time.
67': Free kick for Morocco in a very dangerous position. Guerreiro is the culprit. Ziyech is over the dead ball.
64': Shouts for handball by Morocco! Amrabat tries to cross the ball, but its blocked by the hand of a Portugese defender. The referee though, finds it not worthy of a penalty.
62': His delivery is very deep, and Carvalho competes with the keeper for it, but in doing so, concedes a free kick.
61': Free kick for Portugal on the right side. Moutinho over it.
59': Another disappointing display by Silva comes to an end. He is replaced by Gelson Martins.
58': Again taken by Ziyech, but Fonte defends it extremely well this time.
57': Free kick for Morocco. Ziyech takes the delivery, and Belhanda gets the head to it. But a spectacular save by Patricio denies Morocco the equalizer. Another free kick, this time on the left side for Morocco.
55': Straight at the keeper! Amrabat teases Guerreiro on the right wing, and then plays a nice cut-back towards Belhanda. The No.10 takes a good effort, but Patricio is right behind the ball.
51': Blasted way over! Ronaldo is fouled near the halfway line, and Portugal take the free kick quickly. Mario goes on the wing, and puts in a perfect cut-back for Guedes. He miscues his effort, and the ball reaches an onrushing Ronaldo. Inexplicably, he blasts the effort way over the bar.
48': They play a short corner, and Guerreiro plays in the cross. Fonte rises the highest to meet it, but does so illegally.
47': Corner for Portugal! Pepe plays a long ball, and Joao Mario heads it towards Ronaldo, who in turn heads it towards Guedes. The defense doesn't allow the striker the space, and clear the ball for a corner.
We are back underway!
Not the best of first half for Portugal, but they will take it. Ronaldo gave them the early lead through a bullet header, but since then, he and his teammates have struggled. Morocco have been the far better team, and were unlucky not to get a penalty. Hopefully, a much better second half awaits for the fans.
HALF TIME: Portugal 1-0 Morocco
45' + 2': Free kick for Morocco near the corner line on the right side. Guerreiro is the culprit. Ziyech puts the ball in, and Belhanda gets the head to it. But he can't divert it towards the goal.
45': Three minutes added on. Belhanda is on the ground for Morocco, after his tussle with Carvalho.
40': Benatia gets the first booking of the match. The Morocco skipper is frustrated by the referee's decision.
39': Guedes misses a sitter! A long ball is headed down by the striker towards Ronaldo. The Portugese skipper returns the favor with a lovely chip ball over the defense. But Guedes hits it too close to the keeper, who makes a decent save.
38': Portugal's front four have been anonymous since the goal. Ronaldo and Guedes haven't seen much of the ball, and Joao Mario and Silva have been very wasteful in possession.
32': Poor effort from Ronaldo, as his shot is easily blocked by the wall. But Portugal regroup from that, and Pepe earns them a corner.
31': Free kick for Portugal, right on the edge of the penalty area. Joao Mario is bumped over by the opposition player. Ronaldo looks ready to take it.
29': Despite taking the lead, Portugal have been very ordinary. They have failed to create any other chance of note, and Ronaldo has been particularly anonymous.
27': The officials are the focal point for the time being. Morocco appeal for penalty after Al Ahmadi is tackled in the box by Guerreiro. The referee isn't interested. On the touchline, Turkey manager fumes at the fourth official.
25': Ronaldo is down for Portugal after a challenge from Benatia. The Morocco skipper is lucky to escape without a booking!
23': Ziyech has been lively so far, and has been a regular source of attack. This time, he is free through the middle. The No.7 shifts the ball to his right feet, and has a go from 25 yards out, but it's straight at the goalkeeper.
19': Now Morocco are enjoying possession, and nearly create a chance. Dirar and Amrabat combine, as the former reaches the byline and puts in a dangerous cut-back. But Moutinho defends it well, and gets free kick after a challenge by Boussoufa.
14': Another corner for Morocco, as Ziyech tries to play a cross in the box, but its deflected wide by Cedric. Belhanda takes the set piece, but its poor. The ball is still with Morocco, and a cross in the box is headed wide again.
11': Corner for Morocco! Amrabat does well against Guerreiro in the wing, and tries to play a cut back. Its defended well by Fonte. The resulting delivery is taken by Ziyech, and Benatia meets it with his head. But the effort is close to Patricio.
9': Just wide! Portugal win the ball in the middle of the park, and Guedes is free through the middle. He plays the ball to Ronaldo, who makes a quick turn, and fires one. The shot rolls past the far post.
7': What a start for Portugal! Can anyone stop Ronaldo currently. His movement was so good in the box. And the header was with so much power, that the keeper had no chance.
4': GOAL! Corner for Portugal, after a cross from Silva is blocked. The resulting delivery is poor, but Portugal get another corner. Its taken short, and Moutinho puts in a cross, and Ronaldo beats his marker and scores. Portugal 1-0 Morocco.
1': Morocco enjoy early possession. They move the ball from one side to another, and put in a cross in the box, which is met by Boutaib, but his effort is wide.
Just 10 minutes to go before kick off!
Here are the teams!
So, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal will take on Morocco in their second match of the group stage round. The 2016 Euro champions managed to grab a point against Spain in their first match, thanks to a sensational free kick in the death by their skipper. Now they will face a team who lost out 1-0 to Iran in their opening game.
The first round of fixtures of World Cup 2018 have ended, and they sprung in quiet a few surprises. Many of the teams, who headed into the tournament as favorites, were given harsh reality check. As for the underdogs, they have lit up the tournament with their heartwarming displays.
Russia kicked of the tournament with a thumping 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the first match of the competition. The other match in the Group A saw Uruguay beat Egypt 1-0 thanks to a late late goal by Jose Gimenez.
The Group B saw real excitement in the very first game, which arguably turned out to be the match of the tournament. UEFA Euro 2016 winners Portugal and World Cup 2010 champions Spain ended 3-3, and had every element of drama and action in it..Cristiano Ronaldo was the star of the show, scoring a hat-trick, as he brought his team back from death to salvage a point.
In the other match of their group, Iran narrowly defeated Morocco 1-0.
One of the front-runners to claim the trophy, France were frustrated by Australia in a thrilling encounter, but they came out victorious 2-1 to a 80th minute own goal. There wasn't similar luck for Argentina and Brazil in their respective groups,as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Iceland and Switzerland respectively.
The shocker of the tournament came in the form of Germany's 1-0 defeat to Mexico. The 2014 champions were outplayed and outperformed by the South American side.
In Group G, Belgium comfortably beat debutantes Panama 3-0, but England needed a stoppage time winner to overcome a stubborn Tunisia side.
The final day of the first round of fixtures saw the biggest upsets. 2014's fairytale team Colombia were stunned 2-1 by Japan. And following that match, Poland, led by Robert Lewandowski, were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Senegal.