Favorites Edit

Portugal vs Spain: 5 Talking Points, World Cup 2018

Rohith Nair
Top 5 / Top 10
62.24K   //    16 Jun 2018, 01:34 IST

The WC 2018 saw its best game till date in what is arguably the standout fixture of the group stages as Portugal held Spain to a 3-3 draw at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. A hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo saw the Euro 2016 champions deny La Furia Roja all three points.

It was Portugal who took the lead twice through Ronaldo but Diego Costa was on hand to equalise twice either side of half-time. Nacho seemed to have given Spain the win with a superb goal from distance before a Ronaldo free-kick levelled things late in the game.

Here are the major talking points from the game.

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo punishes Spain again and again and again

Cristiano Ronaldo sent David De Gea the wrong way to score from the penalty spot

After Julen Lopetegui was sacked a day before the World Cup and Fernando Hierro took charge, many expected him to simply continue with the good work the new Real Madrid manager had done in the past two years.

However, after Alvaro Odriozola's terrible performance in the warm-up game against Tunisia where he was taken off at half-time, Hierro decided to go with a safer option by starting Nacho Fernandez at right-back.

It was a mistake that will haunt him and the player. Just three minutes into the tie, Cristiano Ronaldo received the ball at the edge of the box and looked to dribble inside - immediately attracting the attention of Nacho who stuck a leg out in incredulous fashion to bring down the Portuguese star.

It was a clear penalty and Ronaldo put it away with ease to give Portugal a very early lead.

The two players train together every week at Real Madrid and Ronaldo's grin as he looked back at Nacho whole the defender shook his head said it all. That was a costly error - and so early in the game. Nevertheless, he did make up for it with a sweet strike in the second half.

As if that error wasn't enough to put Spain under pressure, David De Gea then surprised everyone watching the game when he spilled what looked like a routine save. With a minute to go for the half-time whistle, Ronaldo had a low shot on goal from the edge of the box that was hit straight at De Gea.

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
David De Gea or Rob Green in disguise?

But as the Manchester United goalkeeper knelt to collect the ball, it hit his glove and went in much to the disbelief of his teammates and Portugal too.

It was uncanny from De Gea and so unlike him to make such an error on such a big stage. He has been the Premier League's best and most untouchable goalkeeper for years but Ronaldo suddenly made him seem human.

But the goalkeeper could do nothing about Ronaldo's free-kick in the dying minutes of the game. It was so perfectly placed and hit with the right pace that a dive to save it would have been pointless.

1 / 5 NEXT
Topics you might be interested in:
Rohith Nair
Raumdeuter in Bengaluru traffic living life a quarter tank at a time.
Fetching more content...