World Cup 2018, Portugal vs Morocco: Best and Worst Players from the match
Portugal finally secured a victory to add up to their drawn game against Spain and are comfortably positioned to progress to the next round of games now. A thumping, diving header by Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that they managed to take a 1-0 lead in the first five minutes itself.
However, it wasn’t all cakewalk for Fernando Santos’ men as the Moroccan side were extremely well-drilled and unquestionably were the better side throughout the course of the ninety minutes.
Their flawless style of play coupled with the knack of initiating some scintillating, fast-paced forward game meant that the Portuguese defence was kept on their toes for long. The Moroccan team has been exceptional with their style of play and were always looking to crack open the holes in the opposition’s backline.
Some superb wing play combined with smooth passing in the midfield meant that they dominated their higher-favored opponents and were always inches away from notching an equalizer.
Poor finishing, the failure to keep nerves in testing scenarios and a general lack of experience was quite visible and hence Portugal emerged victors in the end. Like yesterday, here, I analyze five players, with juxtaposing outings today.
#5 Best: Jose Fonte
Portugal have been setup in an extremely well-drilled defensive shape by Fernando Santos, as the team managed to get back into their positions during the transitions quite quickly. They aren’t gifted with classy, ball-playing central defenders at the heart of the backline.
However, in Jose Fonte and Pepe, they have players who can be relied upon to play the hard way and keep the opposition at bay with some old school rough defending. Maybe, the rough part of the statement could be reserved for Pepe, but Fonte is someone who certainly impressed with his concentration and strong display of physical play at the centre of the park.
Against Morocco, he was at his tenacious best, often following the forwards, making upn the lost ground and carefully stationing himself at the correct positions to win the aerial battles. He made it difficult for players like Ziyech to find space in the box, and bullishly outmuscled the forwards by closely marking them and offering no blank areas in the box.
Fonte was all over the defensive line, clearing the ball, putting in the required tackles and jumping up and high enough to get better of the opposition in the air. Here are his stats from the game!