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Russia 2018: First round of 16 opponents emerge

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By: Akpesiri Akatugba

Iran and Morocco seem to have left their best performances for their final group games, as they matched Portugal and Spain respectively to earn a point each. Both games were unexpectedly nervy for European heavyweights Portugal and Spain. Portugal led the group at halftime, as they went into the locker room in the lead via a Ricardo Quaresma trademark sidefoot special. At this point, Spain has surprisingly locked in a one all draw with Morocco. Quaresma’s first half beauty was cancelled by an Iranian penalty awarded when VAR called the referees attention to a foul by Cedric. The game was energetic but also fractious as even Ronaldo was lucky not to have seen red after missing a penalty. The Spain and Morocco encounter was played in the same spirit as the Moroccans pushed the former world champions all the way, as they were pegged back from the brink of victory to finish the game sharing two goals apiece and a point. Spain tops the group and will face the hosts in the round of 16. Ronaldo and company must face Uruguay, unbeaten at the 2018 World Cup.

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