Morocco first nation to exit Russian Federation 2018

Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo scored a hat trick in the opening Group B match against Spain, a 3-3 draw that so far stands as the most exciting game of this year's World Cup. "We hope that this will be Cristiano's World Cup as it would be a good sign for us then".

Morocco, in their first finals appearance for 20 years, regrouped well and showed some real positivity in attack with Hakim Ziyech and Nordin Amrabat seeing plenty of the ball and Amrabat furious at not being awarded a penalty after wrestling with Raphael Guerreiro.

Ronaldo's goal put the European champions top of Group B before Spain play Iran at 19:00 BST on Wednesday, and extended his lead as the top scorer in Russian Federation in the race for the Golden Boot.

However, it also seems that some referees struggle to control themselves when around global icons such as Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, as well as cope with the pressures on going during a game. "We have to give our everything".

"I managed to score a goal, it was great for me".

Morocco defender Manuel da Costa failed to track the Real Madrid star as Joao Moutinho swung in a corner and Ronaldo stooped to power a header over goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi and into the middle of the goal.

And Renard said: "Even if you conjure up the best plans to halt Ronaldo, he will find a way to break free".

Iran v Spain: Isco impressed with Hierro's seamless adaptation
But Iran refused to buckle, Carlos Queiroz's men coming close in the final minutes when midfielder Mehdi Taremi headed just over. Spain may be the favorite, but there's no reason Iran can't pull off an upset if they're able to disrupt the Spanish offense.

A frustrated Fernando Santos has hit out at suggestions that Portugal rely too heavily on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. "He knows himself well and what he needs to do".

It was Ronaldo's 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 goalscorers.

Luis Suarez marked his 100th worldwide cap by sending Uruguay into the last 16 of the World Cup as the striker benefited from some poor goalkeeping to eliminate Saudi Arabia with a 1-0 win.

"Of course, he is the essential element. but we need to sleep well tonight, eh!"

"That's Ronaldo, that's why I'm not surprised he wants to win another golden boot and why he wants to win the World Cup". Renard said he was still smarting from the disappointment but said that the players alone were not to blame. "We have to be very focused and intense in our play and, if we play like we can do, we will win". "We took a lot but we weren't rewarded".

"The most important thing for our team is for Cristiano Ronaldo to be well", Pepe told reporters at the Luzhniki Stadium ahead of Wednesday's clash.

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