File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal's opener clash to settle a 3-3 draw against Spain on Friday at Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi. Ronaldo has scored his 51st career hat-trick (club and country), and his treble was also the 51st hat-trick scored in World Cup history.
Ronaldo sent a warning when the match started as within four minutes of the game, he scored the first goal and gave a 1-0 advantage over arch-rival Spain.
The lead was, however, equalised by Spanish striker Diego Costa in the first half itself. Portugal star struck again just before the concluding minutes of the first half and gave a 2-1 advantage to the team before the break.
Costa again scored and equalised to give a relief to the team and then Fernandez Nacho scored a goal in his debut match for Spain and had almost sealed the victory but goal machine Ronaldo had some other plans for Portugal.
In the 88th minute of the game, Pique made a blunder when he pushed Ronaldo in the D area. The incident led to the foul which granted Portugal a free-kick. Ronaldo, making no mistake, curled around the wall and into the corner and showcased an exquisite equalizer.
Although, Spain responded well and had the better of the game, as they drew level for the first time in the 24th minute via a trademark piece of centre-forward play by Costa.
With Andres Iniesta, Isco and David Silva pulling the strings, Spain were on top, but Portugal went back in front just as half-time approached.
After the 3-3 draw, both the teams have settled with one point each and the present scenario has become complicated in the Group B as Iran sits atop with three points after registering a victory against Morocco earlier today.