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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Event of the day

Our event of the day is the Football World Cup 2018 match between Portugal and Morocco at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The European champions find themselves in good spirits after securing a 3-3 draw in their opening Group B fixture against Spain. The North Africans, on the other hand, have a challenge ahead of them. They will be determined to be defensively organised to hold up Portugal’s attack steered by Cristiano Ronaldo. After a stunning campaign in the Champions League, Ronaldo seems to have arrived in Russia completely determined to add the World Cup to his vast list of honours. This is evident as Portugal continue to ride the crest of a CR7-shaped wave, after their brilliant captain got a historic hat-trick to help his side settle for a 3-3 draw against Spain. Morocco, on the other hand, are no pushovers and boast a young, talented team who deserved more against Iran in their first game.

Though Aziz Bouhaddouz’s own goal gave Iran a late win in their opening match, the Atlas Lions will be hoping for a repeat of history when they beat Portugal at the Mexico World Cup in 1986. Looking at the teams and individual player contributions, Juventus centre-back Medhi Benatia has been superb partnering with the young full-back Achraf Hakimi for an organized defensive line. Karim El Ahmadi and Mbark Boussoufa will need to inspire the midfield along with Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech. As for the Portuguese, manager Fernando Santos is trying to find stability in his backline with veterans José Fonte and Pepe both not at their best in their first game of the tournament. It won’t be surprising if Santos rests Pepe or Fonte in favor of the talented Rúben Dias. João Mário hopes to feature if Portugal opt for an offensive-minded strategy, as Gonçalo Guedes faces competition from Ricardo Quaresma in the starting lineup. It should be a great match with Ronaldo sure to make an impact.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Women’s T20 cricket tournament in England. Today features a match between South Africa Women and New Zealand Women, and another between England Woman and South Africa Women, both at the County Ground in Chelmsford. In Rugby League, the Super League continues as Leeds Rhinos face Catalans Dragons at Headingley in Leeds. In MLB, the Pittsburgh Pirates meet the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. In tennis, the ATP World Tour continues with Day 3 of the Queen’s Club Championships in London. In horse racing – Royal Ascot moves into the 2nd day. In cricket, the County Championship Division One match between Essex and Nottinghamshire begins at the County Ground in Chelmsford. In football, there are other FIFA World Cup 2018 matches between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia at the Rostov Arena in Rostov-on-Don, and Iran and Spain at the Kazan Arena in Kazan.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by FIFA 

 

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