First Half

Friday Evening (GMT) saw Portugal take on Spain at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi as the second Group B game took place in the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Spain played their first match in the tournament just days after sacking Julen Lopetegui as head coach and replacing him with Fernando Hierro.

This match also symbolised the first in what could be Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo’s last World Cup.

The hosts come with an advantage as they are the current European champions. However, Spain’s ageing team looks like they can still hold their own in a new era of football.

Goal – Cristiano Ronaldo (PEN) – 4th Minute – Portugal 1-0 Spain

Straight from kick off, Portugal pushed hard into the attack. After Ronaldo received the ball, he goes down inside the edge of the box and the keeper rewards a penalty.

Spain keeper David De Gea squares up to the Ballon d’Or holder before he takes the shot.

With ease, Ronaldo finesses the ball into the right side of the goal putting Portugal forward in the fourth minute.

Right after conceding, Spain aimed to bounce back through great possession play going upfront – giving a throwback to their World Cup-winning glory years with quick passing.

However, Portugal looked dangerous in the counter as Ronaldo was leading it. Despite two solid chances on goal, the home side failed to convert as Gonçalo Guedes failed to find his feet.

Goal – Diego Costa – 24th Minute- Portugal 1-1 Spain

Just 20 minutes after the opener, Spain score an equaliser as Diego Costa twisted and turned through the Portuguese defence, slotting it behind Rui Patricio.

This goal gave Spain confidence to consistently push in Portugal’s half to the point where Isco smashed a shot passed the Seleção keeper.

However, it wasn’t a goal at the ball smacked the underside of the crossbar before hitting the goal line.

The Spaniard’s continued to show they were a classy threat as midfield veteran Andres Iniesta almost converted a chance by merely missing the visitors’ net.

GOAL – Cristiano Ronaldo – 44th Minute – Portugal 2-1 Spain

In the closing minutes of the first half despite a hurl of dominance from Spain, the home side yet again succeeded in the counter attack.

From a low shot, Ronaldo’s ball get’s deflected into the back of the net giving the 33-year-old a double and Portugal the lead at half time.

Second Half

The opening 10 minutes of the second half didn’t see much happen between both teams as they battled each other equally for possession.

GOAL – Diego Costa – 55th Minute – Portugal 2-2 Spain

From a short set piece, David Silva glides the ball into the box where both Portuguese and Spanish players get in a squabble. All before Costa slots in his second goal for Spain.

GOAL – Nacho – 58th Minute – Portugal 2-3 Spain

Minutes after scoring the equaliser, Spain take the lead in 58th minute.

Real Madrid full back Nacho found his redemption after conceding a penalty from the first half with a solid hit on goal.

Portugal went into a panic and spent the next 20 minutes trying to balance and take control of the attack by subbing on Joao Mario and Ricardo Quaresma.

In the same moments, Spain subbed off Iniesta to give Thiago a fresh start on the pitch.

Despite the subs, Spain looked like they had the upper hand with almost constant possession.

Each pass looked like it was contributing to a potentially new chance creation.

GOAL – Cristiano Ronaldo – 88th Minute – Portugal 3-3 Spain.

In the closing minutes of the game, Gerard Pique takes Ronaldo down just outside of the box.

The Portuguese fans were screaming in the the crowds as the demanded an equaliser from their captain.

With careful precision, Ronaldo blast the free kick passed an almost paralysed De Gea, giving himself a hattrick.

With four minutes added on, Portugal put maximum pressure in the attack pushing forward against a vulnerable Spain.

Despite last second efforts, Spain weren’t able to break the lock as the game finished 3-3.


Source of Image: @FIFAWorldCup (Twitter)

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