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In Pictures: Day Seven of the World Cup

An Uruguay supporter reacts while watching the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in the Fan zone in St.Petersburg, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ETIENNE LAURENT

Vuvuzelas in the house. And a few return tickets confirmed.

Stay up to date with all the latest news from Russia with Daily Maverick‘s dedicated World Cup 2018 section.  For the latest highlights, results and standings from all the groups, click here.

Compiled by ANTOINETTE MULLER, photos by EPA.

Morocco became the first team to book their plane ticket back home, with a match still to spare. Gutsy as they were against Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo’s lone goal not only propelled him to the top of the Golden Boot standings, but meant the Atlas Lions can’t earn enough points to stay in the running.

But the match was not without drama. A veteran of African coaching, Herve Renard, threw a bit of a strop after two penalty appeals didn’t go up to the VAR box.

And Ronaldo, brilliant as he might be, almost out-Ronaldo-ed himself with an embarrassing dive in the box towards the end.

Supporters of Morocco react after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. Portugal won 1-0. EPA-EFE/SERGEI CHIRIKOV
Cristiano Ronaldo (C-L) of Portugal in action against Mehdi Benatia of Morocco (C-R) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PAULO NOVAIS
Morocco’s head coach Herve Renard (L) reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PAULO NOVAIS
Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Portugal in action against Mehdi Benatia (R) of Morocco during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PAULO NOVAIS
Mehdi Benatia (R) of Morocco reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Cristiano Ronaldo (down) of Portugal reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PAULO NOVAIS
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal reacts during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018 EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

And in today’s edition of pictures that make you want to be a fly with good hearing on a wall.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of Portuguese Football Federation Fernando Gomes and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, watch the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Morocco at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/PAULO NOVAIS

Joining Morocco on the plane will be Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Luis Suarez scored the only goal for Uruguay in a scrappy encounter against the Green Falcons.

Not that it matters how you win – as long as you’re not biting, cheating, handballing on purpose or fixing matches – but Saudi Arabia will have every right to feel aggrieved after The Sky Blue went for an approach best described as anti-football.

Still, at least Suarez was nice enough to console his opponents.

Goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais of Saudi Arabia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SHAWN
Luis Suarez (L) of Uruguay celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/KHALED ELFIQI
Carlos Sanchez of Uruguay reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SHAWN THEW
Luis Suarez of Uruguay (L) reacts with a player of Saudi Arabia react after the FIFA World Cup 2018 group A preliminary round soccer match between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/SHAWN THEW

It wasn’t classic tika-taka, but Spain eked out a 1-0 win over plucky Iran to join Portugal at the top of Group B. By hook and partly by crook, Diego Costa added another goal to his growing tally. Iran suffered the agony of a VAR reversal after an offside goal… which would have been picked up anyway since the linesman had his flag up, despite the referee not noticing.

Iran’s soccer fans gather in downtown Kazan, Russia, 20 June 2018. Spain will face Iran in the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match in Kazan on 20 June 2018 EPA-EFE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
Diego Costa (R white shirt) scores the opening goal against goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand of Iran during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Iran and Spain in Kazan, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/DIEGO AZUBEL
Diego Costa (R) of Spain celebrates with teammate Isco after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Iran and Spain in Kazan, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/DIEGO AZUBEL
Goalkeeper David de Gea of Spain celebrates the 1-0 lead during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Iran and Spain in Kazan, Russia, 20 June 2018. EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT

More exits could be confirmed on Thursday with Australia and Peru both in action in must-win matches against Denmark and France respectively. Argentina have a chance to make amends for their stodgy start against Iceland when they face Croatia. DM

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