Morocco left the World Cup 2018. Poorly engaged after their initial setback against Iran, the Atlas Lions mortgaged their last chance to see the 8th finals by losing again, this time to Portugal (0-1). They are officially eliminated even before the 2nd match of Spain against the Iranians, this evening (20 hours, to be followed live on our website).
The magic of the World Cup is matched only by its level of exigency. Morocco will be able to meditate on this maxim after having once again paid for its naivety with a firm kick, a key area of play as it represents half of the goals registered so far in this World Cup. The naivety could even seem a mild term in view of the action that plagues this Wednesday Morocco. One marker error, one guilty oversight on Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored on a Moutinho corner after only a handful of seconds (1-0, 4′). The 85th goal for CR7 with the Selecçao, who took the opportunity to become the best European goalscorer in history with his selection.
For the rest, Morocco will regret not having been able to achieve a single action in a match that it once again dominated territorially, without having found the key in the finishing area. Faced with Portuguese who were delighted to be able to settle in their camp and carry out quick attacks, the Atlas Lions showed initiative, vitality, and much more consistency than when they entered the race. Boutaib, preferred to el-Kaabi, had lit a first strand of the head (2nd), and Ziyech, by far the most enterprising, was not rewarded for his activity (23rd, 89th). The danger often came from the sides, but the lack of presence in the surface prevented many situations from being more concrete.
After being stopped off, Morocco did not have the same success as its opponent, despite numerous opportunities for Benatia (11e, 61e, 90e) and Belhanda (57e), sometimes imprecise, sometimes put in check by an impeccable Rui Patricio. Constant behind, Portugal was much less ahead. But Cristiano Ronaldo (9th), just like Guedes (40th) did not know how to protect theirs, remaining until the end at the mercy of a Moroccan equalisation. In the end, this will not happen and the Atlas Lions, despite their hopes and promises, prematurely leave the World Cup.