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FIFA World Cup: Russia 2018

Morocco Player Ratings vs Portugal: Did Any of Atlas Lions Impress?

Morocco’s hopes of reaching the second round at this year’s World Cup in Russia ended in disarray after a crushing 1-0 loss to Portugal at the Luzhniki Stadium today.

Morocco’s hopes of reaching the second round at this year’s World Cup in Russia ended in disarray after a crushing 1-0 loss to Portugal at the Luzhniki Stadium today.

Needing a win to stay in contention for a place in the Last 16, they fell behind early to a goal from tournament leading scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

It was an excruciatingly unexciting match, with the laid back Atlas Lions, who knew defeat would spell the end of their 2018 World Cup hopes, failing to usurp the Team of the Five.

Ducor Sports makes an assessment of the Atlas Lions’ performance, player by player.

Monir El Kajoui 5/10

Looked a little nervy at the start but later regained confidence and managed his defence well. He made no errors but will be disappointed with Ronaldo’s header that beat him as his defence left him horribly exposed.

Nabil Dirar 4/10

Simply did nothing worth remarking upon all game long. Did not get forward or even defend with any real conviction. A forgettable performance, literally.

Mehdi Benatia 6/10

The Lions of Atlas captain was solid in his right-back role, where he performed his defensive duties admirably, but he did not get forward to assist down the flanks in attack.

Manuel Da Costa 5/10

Was largely anonymous in the first half. Not able to do his trademark tricks, but often broke up the Portuguese attack with numerous important tackles and interceptions.

Achraf Hakimi 4/10

Positioning for the 19-year-old right back was too static and he was often sucked across when mistakes were made by his defensive partners. Did not command the air as he had in the past.

Mbark Boussoufa 7/10

Perhaps the one player who saw most of the ball especially in the early stages of the game. His distributions – those trademark long searching balls – as well as his commencement of attacks were constant. His contributions though, were serially aimed at dead ends. Was quiet towards the end.

Karim El Ahmadi 5/10

Had a tough evening dealing with Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of Portugal’s attackers. He was all at sea‚ and backing off as Ronaldo headed the ball through for the first.

Nordin Amrabat 5/10

Was the link for all the smart passing movements in the first half and again worked his socks off in another unselfish performance. But he battled without possession to make an impact in the middle.

Younes Belhanda 5/10

Was menacing on the right wing with his clever, powerful runs. Caused a lot of problems and had a lot of ball-time as the Atlas Lions seemed to be buying into wing play to make up for a lack of creativity in midfield.

Hakim Ziyach 4/10

A player who is much more comfortable in a slower game found it hard to keep up as he pushed forward far too often‚ losing possession and negating his best ability to provide a screen for the back four.

Khalid Boutaib 5/10

Full of running and passing but not able to get a crack in on goal. Had a chance with the rebound off the keeper in the first half but was a split second too slow and found himself offside at other crucial times.


Ayoub El Kaabi 6/10

He did well when coming on in the 69th minute and looked lively down the flanks, but his final pass was continuously poor.

Faycal Fajr – n/a

Barely had any piece of action after replacing Karim El Ahmadi late in the game. Would be unfair to assess.

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