Cristiano Ronaldo continued his sensational start to the World Cup with the winner as Portugal knocked Morocco out of the tournament.
ZIYECH AND AMRABAT SPARKLE
Hakim Ziyech and Nordin Amrabat had a very good game. They were enterprising and tried their best to orchestrate something for their team. Amrabat won the battle against Rafael Guererro on the right flank and gave a good account of himself.
THE RESULT IS AN IMPOSTER
There is always a funny and intriguing aspect about football. Football is result oriented and if the result doesn’t go in your favour, nothing else matters. In analysis, there are two distinct aspects; performance related and result oriented.. Morocco is out but performance-wise, they were extremely impressive. They dominated in their games against Iran and Portugal and were just “unlucky” in both games.
THE SET-PIECE CURSE STRIKES AGAIN
Portugal was largely outplayed by Morocco but an inability to mark players properly during set-pieces cost an African side again. This trend is very worrying for the African sides in this tournament and the various coaches must work on their defensive set-up for during set pieces.
PORTUGAL DO NOT CARE ABOUT POSSESSION
Portugal has given a clear impression of how they will play in this tournament. It is obvious that they will largely set-out to be pragmatic and conservative with reliance on talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal is definitely not going to be a possession drank side but will set up to contain their opponents whiles they look to find gaps in behind their opponents and look to hurt them. This is the set-up they used to win the EUROS and they will stick to it.
BERNARDO SILVA YET TO COME TO THE PARTY
Aside Cristiano Ronaldo, the next big thing in this Portuguese side is Bernardo Silva. However, Silva has failed to replicate the impressive form he displaced at Manchester City. He was kept at bay by Hakimi. Definitely, Bernardo Silva can do more.
MOROCCO SHORT OF IDEAS IN THE FINAL THIRD
Prior to the world cup, concerns were raised about Morocco’s lack of firepower up front. Morocco dominated the game with 53% possession but were simply short of ideas on how to put the ball in the back of the net. Most of the chances fell to Mehdi Benetia but even in the penalty box, Benetia failed to keep all of his shots down. Aside from taking the ball to the flanks, there was a clear lack of movement upfront from their attacking players.
RONALDO SHATTERS THE RECORD BOOKS
Ronaldo scored in the 4th minute. That was his 85th goal for Portugal and Ronaldo has broken the record set by Ferenc Puskas [who had 84 goals] to become Europe’s all-time top scorer.