Cristiano Ronaldo’s quest for the Golden Boot stayed on course after his fourth-minute header helped Portugal grind out a 1-0 win over Morocco at the World Cup.
For the north African side it was Moscow or bust as they needed at least a point to keep their hopes of qualifying alive.
And they made the worst possible start as Ronaldo ghosted in early on to net a header for his 85th goal for his country.
But Morocco created the better chances as they dominated the midfield battle and nullified William Carvalho, Joao Mario, who was playing instead of Bruno Fernandes, and Bernardo Silva.
But they were let down by poor finishing and some good saves from Rui Patricio including a world class one-handed stop to keep out Younes Belhanda’s header.
Fernando Santos’s side continued to soak up the pressure in the latter stages, with some last-gasp defending to deal with a string of corners and free-kicks.
And they had a penalty shout in the dying minutes when Ronaldo went down after minimal contact from Nordin Amrabat which led to the Real Madrid man making the VAR signal himself.
Similar to their triumph at Euro 2016, the Portuguese grinded out another win to eliminate Morocco with the sort of performance that would have made compatriot Jose Mourinho smile.