Ronaldo hat-trick earns Portugal share of the spoils against Spain

Ronaldo hat-trick earns Portugal share of the spoils against Spain
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates scoring the 3-3 during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group B preliminary round soccer match between Portugal and Spain in Sochi

by Brian Lee

Friday Jun 15, 2018. 21:59

A goal two minutes from time completed Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick as Portugal drew 3-3 with Spain in a 2018 FIFA World Cup, Group B match at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Friday night.

It was the perfect start for the Portuguese who were awarded a penalty in the third minute after the referee adjudged Nacho to have pulled Ronaldo down inside the box.

Ronaldo duly stepped up and converted in a cool, calm and collected manner to hand Portugal a 1-0 lead.

Spain attempted to hit back immediately and came close to levelling matters in the 21st minute when Andries Iniesta droved into the box from the left and squared for David Silva, but his six-yard shot was deflected just wide of the target.

Three minutes later Spain did find the equaliser when Diego Costa worked his way into the box, beating three defenders before firing home from 16-yards out, 1-1.

In the 26th minute Spain nearly took the lead when Isco tried his luck from 24-yards out, but he saw his thunderous effort strike the underside of the crossbar and bounce away from danger.

Instead, it was the Portuguese side who re-took the lead a minute before the break after a disastrous goalkeeping error from David de Gea saw him fumble a rather timid 18-yard shot from Ronaldo into the net, 2-1.

Ten minutes into the second half Spain levelled matters for the second time when a smart free-kick into the Portuguese box was met by Sergio Busquets as he headed the ball across the face of goal for Costa to tap home from close range, 2-2.

Three minutes later Spain took the lead with a spectacular 20-yard volley from Nacho bent into the bottom corner of the net, 3-2.

Portugal tried to find their way back into the match, but they struggled to get hold of the ball for a long enough to build any pressure.

Ronaldo, though, was not going to go down without a fight and managed to find his third goal of the match two minutes from time with a spectacular 26-yard free-kick that found the top corner of the net, 3-3.

Portugal (2) 3 (Ronaldo 4’ pen, 44’ + 88’)
Spain (1) 3 (Costa 24’ + 55’, Nacho 58’)




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