Morocco vs. Portugal
|Date & Time||Wednesday June 20, 2018, 8:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: MOR +561 / POR -168 / Draw +290 -- Over/Under: 2.5
Portugal and Morocco meet Wednesday in World Cup soccer action at Luzhniki Stadium.
Right when it looked like Portugal was going to leave its match against Spain with nothing, it was able to force a 3-3 draw and keep realistic hopes alive of escaping this group. You can thank Cristiano Ronaldo for such a performance, as he scored all three goals for his club, which included a last minute goal out of a set piece, a downright gorgeous shot that found the corner of the net. At 33 years old, Ronaldo is now the oldest player in World Cup history to produce a hat trick. The fact that Portugal has its best player in elite form right now and was able to find consistent offensive success despite controlling the ball for just 38 percent of the match, it has to give this club an unreal confidence boost. Of course, Portugal could improve defensively in its next match, especially on the counters, as guys must do a better job of getting back and limiting such quality looks.
Morocco was looking at a 0-0 draw with Iran, but Aziz Bouhaddouz ended up scoring a goal against his own team, putting his club truly behind the eight ball. What makes matters worse is that Morocco controlled that match from start to finish, owning 63 percent of the match and getting three quality shots on goal. Morocco could have easily scored at least two goals of its own, which would have obviously made Bouhaddouz’s mistake irrelevant. However, what’s done is done, and it’s now up to the Atlas Lions to find a way to recover and produce any chance of getting back into this group. Of course, it’s easier said than done, as that was the type of result that could absolutely kill the teams confidence. We should be able to find out if there’s any hangover for Morocco within the first 20 minutes of this match.
There’s no previous meetings between these two sides.
I’m honestly not sure how Morocco bounces back from such a performance, as that was the clubs chance to really give itself a shot in this group. To leave that match with nothing is sad, especially when you had such good looks of your own and the one goal scored came from your own player. Portugal played a brilliant match against a quality Spain side and has Ronaldo playing out of his mind. He not only scored three goals, but he also had a chance for an easy assist in the first half. Dude is simply taking over matches and is hungry to make a run in likely his last World Cup, and there’s nobody on the other side that Morocco can counter with.
I like Portugal to get the victory here, positioning themselves nicely to advance out of the group stages.