There’s an old joke that Portugal (and Greece) can’t play great soccer because every time they get a corner, they open a shop.
Not true! When the Nando boys get a corner, the cross is swung over to Ronaldo and the goalie is left with the task of fetching the ball from the back of the net.
It took just four minutes on Wednesday afternoon for the maestro to head home his side’s opening goal in that fashion, and to herald what would be the death knell for the Moroccans.
To their credit, the Atlas Lions never gave up and created a number of decent chances, without reward.
But the only luck they have is bad luck, and – twice goalless and pointless – their World Cup dream is over.
To be fair, the game was an uninspiring one, apart from the opening goal.
It was like watching two armies marking time at double quick pace: plenty of energy, effort and precision – but no progress.
Portugal certainly did close up shop early, keen not to concede, and looked nothing like the side in the 3-3 Group B draw against Spain.
Even Ronaldo was below par but, hey, it’s the 1-0 result that counts.
Exit Morocco; march on Portugal.