Portugal lost the plot despite Morocco victory, says coach Santos

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Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's top global scorer, but Portugal were lucky to come out on top against a resilient Morocco.

Cristiano Ronaldo became Europe's all-time leading scorer in worldwide football as he registered in Portugal's 1-0 win over Morocco at the 2018 World Cup on Wednesday afternoon.

It was his fourth goal in five attempts from the two matches played in FIFA World Cup 2018 and with that being his 85th global goal, Ronaldo surpassed Hungarian legend Fren Puskas to become leading European goalscorer in the history of football.

Spain will face Iran in the group's other encounter in Kazan later the same day.

Instead it was Morocco, who lost their Group B opener 1-0 to Iran, who were the more aggressive side, missing half a dozen clear scoring chances and the Portuguese conceding far too much space.

Ronaldo's header in the fourth minute was his fourth goal at this year's tournament, and his 85th for his country.

Ronaldo is back in action at 3 p.m. (8 a.m. EDT; 1200 GMT). A second loss for Morocco will all but eliminate them, while a Portugal loss will put them into a must-win scenario against Iran in a few days.

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Cristiano Ronaldo will again line up alongside Goncalo Guedes in attack.

Of all the high profile stars that took the field for their first 2018 World Cup soccer game, it was Ronaldo who lived up to the extreme hype.

Benatia then struck over the Portugal crossbar in the 61st minute as Morocco passed up another excellent chance.

Mehdi Benatia forced a smart low save from Rui Patricio at a corner for Morocco, before Hakim Ziyach skipped his way into the Portugal area, his goal-bound effort blocked by an outstretched leg.

Benatia headed another Morocco free kick wide of the post 10 minutes from time, before Dirar fired over the crossbar from distance shortly after.

Portugal's misses mattered little, however, as the European champions secured their first win of Russian Federation 2018.

Morocco will have the chance to restore some pride by claiming a result from their final Group B game against Spain and will then head home disappointed not to have had more to show for two good displays in Russian Federation, while Portugal took a huge step towards the last 16.