Portugal 3, Spain 3
Group B, Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning hat-trick earned Portugal a dramatic 3-3 draw in their Group B opener against Iberian neighbors Spain.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s free kick in the 88th minute swerved around a wall of Spanish defenders and dipped under the crossbar to complete his hat trick and give Portugal a well-earned point in a game that seemed destined to be a loss.
Ronaldo and Spain’s Diego Costa scored two goals apiece in the first 55 minutes, with Ronaldo’s penalty kick in the fourth minute making him the fourth player in World Cup history to score in four different tournaments.
Nacho gave Spain a 3-2 lead in the 58th minute with a shot that rattled both posts before crossing the goal line. It was the goal of the tournament, for the next 30 minutes anyway. Ronaldo’s free kick, which froze Spain goalkeeper David de Gea and had Portugal fans in the crowd bowing in the star forward’s direction, gave him his 51st career hat trick. It was also the 51st hat trick in World Cup history.
Portugal improved to 18-0-2 when Ronaldo scores at least two goals, while Spain failed to win for the first time in 15 World Cup matches when scoring at least three goals. Friday’s match was the 16th in World Cup history in which both teams scored at least three goals, and the first since Senegal and Uruguay played to a 3-3 tie during the group stage in 2002. Friday’s draw leaves Iran, which defeated Morocco on a late own goal, atop the Group B standings after the first round of games.
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