After Portugal was shocked by Morocco in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo left his final World Cup in tears. The 1-0 loss to the Euro 2016 champions in Qatar came despite the fact that they consistently played second best.
In an effort to advance Portugal to the World Cup semifinals, Ronaldo was benched for the second straight game. The 37-year-old had started each of his nation’s three group games, but Goncalo Ramos took his place for the match against Switzerland in the round of 16. The Benfica striker kept his spot against Morocco after tallying a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory.
Prior to the match, Portugal was the overwhelming favorite to win the quarterfinal. However, they were behind just before halftime when Youssef En-Nesyri headed the ball into the goal after goalkeeper Diogo Costa flapped at a cross.
Morocco beat expectations in Qatar and advanced to the round of eight after defeating Spain in the semifinals. And in the second half, the African team bravely defended in an effort to prevent Portugal from forcing their way back into the match.
Cristiano Ronaldo wept as Portugal lost to Morocco in their final World Cup match on Saturday.
As the second period progressed, Portugal increased the pressure on Morocco’s goal. And Ronaldo had a chance to tie the game in stoppage time at the end when he ran through on goal. However, he was denied by Morocco goalkeeper Bono, who was up to the task.
Morocco eventually held out to reach the World Cup semi-finals despite being reduced to 10 men late in the game when Walid Cheddira was sent off.
In the last four, the African team will face the winner of England’s highly anticipated match against France. Both countries have been in superb form throughout the Qatar tournament and will fancy their chances of defeating Morocco and reaching the World Cup final if they win on Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo came on in the second half of Portugal’s World Cup loss to Morocco.