Spain and Portugal were expected to dominate in almost all World Cup 2018 Group B predictions and both are well-placed to progress with four points from two games.
La Roja are favourites to finish top of the table at 11/20 after following up a 3-3 draw with the Euro 2016 champions by beating Iran 1-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo was again the hero as Portugal scraped past Morocco by the same scoreline and they are 13/10 to end up at the summit.
Standings Group B
Spain coach Fernando Hierro warned his players to take nothing for granted despite being in pole position to advance after beating Iran.
Diego Costa again did the damage for the 2010 champions, having previously bagged a brace versus Portugal.
Hierro stated: “I think there are 32 great teams here at this World Cup and no-one is giving anything away, so anyone who thinks it is going to be very easy to score and win by a landslide is wrong.
“In some groups, two teams have already qualified, but our group is very tough. Morocco lost 1-0 to Portugal but they were fighting to the end.”
Costa added: “We know we still need to improve but hopefully as we do that we will keep winning.”
Iran were denied an equaliser by a VAR ruling for offside but Carlos Queiroz is still eyeing a surprise place in the last 16.
He said: “We showed tremendous fighting spirit against a favourite to win the World Cup. There is no doubt Spain play wonderful, stylish football, but I thought we deserved a better result.
“We came to this World Cup and nobody gave us a chance but we can still qualify for the second round and I think that is something we should applaud.
“We can guarantee that we will keep working for our dreams, and our dream is to qualify for the second round.
“We know it will be difficult against Portugal but we don’t come here expecting easy things.”
|Morocco vs Iran||0 - 1||Saint Petersburg Stadium|
|Portugal vs Spain||3 - 3||Fisht Stadium|
|Portugal vs Morocco||1 - 0||Luzhniki Stadium|
|Iran vs Spain||0 - 1||Kazan Arena|
|Iran vs Portugal||Mordovia Arena|
|Spain vs Morocco||Kaliningrad Stadium|
Portugal coach Fernando Santos admitted his side played poorly against Morocco, describing the display as lacking “intensity” and suggested there may have been “some anxiety”.
But when you have a player like Ronaldo, you can lose most of the battles and still win the war!
Asked how the 33-year-old was still doing it, Santos said: “He’s like a port wine, he knows how to age well.
“He’s constantly evolving. He’s not doing what he was three or four years ago.”
Morocco went close to equalising several times from set-pieces, with Medhi Benatia guilty of missing three chances.
Herve Renard commented: “I’m not disappointed with the performance – I’m very proud of my players and this country.
“We didn’t get the goals we should have had but we’re here in Moscow and it felt like we were playing in Casablanca.
“That’s something you can’t take away from the fans, some drove all the way here.”