Cristiano Ronaldo saves Portugal again

Match day 7 brought us more tight games and with a bit of luck, could have ended in some major upsets. Uruguay joined Russia in the Round of 16 by defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0. This was no easy game for the South American nation. After being humiliated in their opener 5-0, the Saudis showed grit and determination to fight for a result today and almost got one. Portugal once again had to rely on a Ronaldo goal to win. After taking the lead very early, the Euro 2016 winners showed no aggressivity and were unable to trouble Morocco. In the other game of Group B, Spain narrowly edged Iran 1-0, courtesy of a Diego Costa goal.

Portugal’s Ronaldo dependence

After losing their first game to Iran 1-0, Morocco had to win their game against Portugal today. Instead, a Ronaldo header eliminated the Lions of Atlas. Before the game, Fernando Santos insisted that Portugal are not a one-man team. However, Ronaldo has now scored all of Portugal’s goals at this World Cup. Today, after an early Ronaldo goal, Portugal were less than impressive. Santos needs his other players to back up his words and start performing to Ronaldo’s level, or at least to a close enough level to affect games.

Related: The Cristiano Ronaldo show

“You know, we have 22 other players than Cristiano. We are the Portuguese national team and we have to beat Morocco. I hope Ronaldo does well in this game but one player has never won a game by himself.” – Fernando Santos

Group B tighter than ever

The games today have left Portugal and Spain with 4 points each and Iran with 3 points.

Iran will have to defeat Portugal in their last group stage game to qualify. The Middle Eastern nation gave Spain a run for their money today. They put their bodies on the line to defend their goal and had some good chances to score as well. They even got one past De Gea but it was disallowed for handball after a VAR review. Carlos Quieroz will hope to get one over Cristiano Ronaldo, the player he mentored at Manchester United and with the Portugal national team.

Spain for their part will face Morocco in the next game; the African nation will hope to get a win before exiting the tournament.

This group will keep us on the edge of our seat till the end.

Standings

Group A: Russia and Uruguay each have 6 points – the hosts are ahead on goal difference. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have zero points.

Group B: Portugal and Spain have 4 points each, having mirrored each other’s results. Iran has 3 points in third place. Morocco are last with no points.

What’s next?

Group C and D are next:

  • 8:00 AM EST Denmark v Australia
  • 11:00 AM EST France v Peru
  • 2:00 PM EST Argentina v Croatia

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Related: Russia 2018: The World Cup of Penalties

Photo by gunthersimmermacher on Pixabay

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