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Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Ronaldo hat-trick saves Portugal; Uruguay and Iran score wins

Ronaldo hat-trick saves Portugal; Uruguay and Iran score wins

Iran became the second team to qualify for the World Cup after Brazil and will be eager to improve on its 2014 World Cup performance, when it finished last in its group and scored one goal.

With Spain and Portugal the other teams in Group B, this was regarded as a must-win game in St. Petersburg for two of the tournament outsiders.

Queiroz, himself a former Real Madrid coach, deflected questions on the issue at his pre-match press conference, saying: "It would be disrespectful to Morocco if I shifted my words to Spain".

"We are not using them as any kind of justification or apology".

"We want to celebrate and it's our responsibility, that's why we are here in Russian Federation".

Morocco coach Herve Renard confirmed he will be without winger Nabil Derar, who is making a gradual recovery from a calf injury.

However, the North African's manager has insisted that all hope is not lost yet.

"We are not ever using apologies or justifications, we are using the difficulties as a source of inspiration for our motivations to be strengthened during the games", said Queiroz.

Fans unfurled a protest banner at the stadium Friday in the Russian city of St. Petersburg during Iran's opening match against Morocco, prompting a brief commotion.

"Since we've got here, we shouldn't be feeling the pressure too much".

"It's impossible you participate in the World Cup without any stress and pressure but we must tolerate".

Ronaldo had opened the scoring with a penalty and got his second in the 44th minute to put Portugal ahead.

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