Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo seals hat-trick vs. Spain with flawless free-kick

Cristiano Ronaldo went down inside the penalty box after only a few minutes and scored the following penalty to open the scoring.

It could also be a last World Cup for five-time Ballon d'Or victor Ronaldo as he looks to finally make his mark on football's greatest stage. But 11 minutes later, Costa once again took it upon himself to level the score 2-2 for Spain before before Nacho's thunderbolt gave the Spanish side the much-needed lead in the 58th minute.

Silva saw a close-range shot blocked for a corner kick in the 22nd minute and Portugal almost scored from the resulting cross, Ronaldo setting up Goncalo Guedes whose indecision allowed a recovery run to poke the ball away before he could shoot. A 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal give them 2nd and third spot in the table.

Spain's showdown with Portugal was expected to be one of the most exciting games of the group stage, and the first half hour of play Friday in Russian Federation was frantic.

"It hurts me to say it but he knows it was a bad mistake".

With the seconds ticking away and Spain in a winning position, Ronaldo tossed the ball too Alba in a bid to hurry the Barcelona full-back up. And neither did the Real Madrid man.

Ronaldo had scored just three World Cup goals - one in 2006, one in 2010 and one in 2014 - prior to Friday's game, in which he equaled twelve years of output in 90 minutes.

Hierro stated that he does not doubt de Gea's abilities and they take the ups-and-downs as a team.

"Above all we have to stress the efforts of the team", Ronaldo told the media after the game, per football writer Tom Kundert. The Iranian soccer team can thank their goalkeeper for an excellent save against Hakim Ziyech's shot on target.

The Atletico Madrid forward also declared his admiration for Ronaldo after the Portuguese upstaged his two goals with his whirlwind hat-trick. The ball struck the post before going into the goal.

Earlier in the day Iran - coached by former Portugal national manager Carlos Queiroz - beat Morocco 1-0 in Saint Petersburg after a Moroccan own goal.

Portugal continue their World Cup campaign against Morocco in Moscow on Wednesday.

Portugal meanwhile fielded an attacking line up with Ronaldo, Goncalo Guedes and Bernardo Silva in the starting 11.

  • Gwendolyn Kim