Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick hero Portugal hold Spain to entertaining draw

Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick hero Portugal hold Spain to entertaining draw

Ronaldo, who is Portugal's all-time leading goal scorer will be charged with scoring and creating the goals to push his country deep in the competition.

Ronaldo won a penalty in just the third minute when his quick stepover caught out Real Madrid teammate Nacho, whose clumsy lunge clipped him just inside the box.

David Silva smashed a shot over the crossbar as Spain - who sacked coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament and replaced him with Fernando Hierro - tried to find an immediate response, the Manchester City midfielder then having an effort deflected wide after magical footwork from Andres Iniesta.

He became the first player to score a hat trick against Spain and the oldest to score a hat trick in World Cup history at 33 years and 130 days.

Ronaldo deservedly earned praise for his performance and his former team-mate Rio Ferdinand revealed the superstar never stops pushing.

Three World Cup matches were played Friday, but if you limited your reading to Twitter, you might think there was only one match, and only one player.

The big selection call made by stand-in boss Fernando Hierro was to field Nacho at right-back in place of the half-fit Dani Carvajal, despite Alvaro Odriozola filling in for the warm-up matches.

Spain, the 2010 World Cup champion, dominated much of the match but was unable to contain Ronaldo.

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Heading in to the 2018 World Cup, the most anticipated matchup was the Group B showdown between powerhouses Spain and Portugal. We have fought hard and we have come back from those two goals.

De Gea made a bad error in a warm-up friendly against Switzerland and he was guilty again with a disgusting moment that handed Portugal back the lead on the stroke of half-time.

Ronaldo had accepted a prison and a monetary fine sentence for tax fraud earlier on Friday evening.

Portugal restored their lead a minute before the break.

Portugal were happy to live off counter-attacks, though, and they should have doubled their tally through one such move as only a poor first touch prevented Goncalo Guedes from converting inside the box. I am happy with the way the team reacted, we deserved more but football is like that, this can happen to you.

World Cup action continues Saturday (6 am ET/3 am PT) with France taking on Australia in the first of four matches.

But Spain regrouped at the interval and drew level 10 minutes into the second half with a textbook set-piece counter, Sergio Busquets heading a free-kick back across goal for Costa to turn it in. They recently secured a slightly disappointing but still respectable 1-1 draw with Switzerland, before picking up a 1-0 win against Tunisia most recently.

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