For the second straight match Portugal rode their luck as an early Cristiano Ronaldo goal proved decisive in a barely deserved win against Morocco. Only a rock-solid display of goalkeeping by Rui Patricio kept the Africans at bay, and Fernando Santos knows his team has to improve vastly if they are to make an impact at this tournament.
It wasn’t all bad news. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio continues to prove he has the temperament and the talent for the big occasion, centre-backs Pepe and José Fonte looked more like the impenetrable partnership they were at Euro 2016, and Cristiano Ronaldo added another victim to the endless list of teams powerless to prevent him from scoring.
However, it was a forgettable match for left-back Raphael Guerreiro and talented midfield stars Bernardo Silva, João Mário and Bruno Fernandes, who have all succumbed to big stage nerves so far at Russia 2018. Read the ratings for the Seleção players.
Tom Kundert gives his Portugal player ratings versus Morocco for ESPNFC – click here to read them.