Ahead of Friday’s match, and really ever since the draw for the FIFA World Cup was made, everyone assumed that Spain and Portugal would each be making their way out of Group B. Placed alongside Morocco and Iran, two much smaller sides in the game, fans and commentators alike have backed the Iberian nations to go through. While their opening group stage match against each other didn’t change much, it was a big time classic.
Most games played between these two countries have proven to be very tight and tense. This one, though, did not turn out this way. Just four minutes in, Portugal had won a penalty kick. Cristiano Ronaldo would stroke it home from the spot to give the Portuguese an early 1-0 lead. Diego Costa, a player born in Brazil but now a citizen of Spain, would score his first in after 24 minutes. Ronaldo scored again, thanks to a goalkeeping blunder, right before half time. Costa’s second came ten minutes after the half time break, and then Spain took the lead through Nacho three minutes later with one of the finest strikes you’ll ever see in a World Cup. But, just as Spain looked like winning it, Ronaldo scored a brilliant free kick, bending and dipping over the wall, to equalize and tie the game at 3-3.
The hat trick broke a ton of records for Ronaldo. He’s now the old man in World Cup history to score a hat trick at 33. He also tied the record for highest scoring European player in international football, tying Ferenc Puskas. He only trails one man now for the most goals ever in international football. He also has now scored four goals in the World Cup after the 80th minute mark, putting him alongside other very clutch stars like Gerd Muller, a German legend.
In the other Group B match on Friday, Iran managed to defeat Morocco 1-0 thanks to a late, late own goal. It was terribly unlucky for the Moroccans, as they had generally controlled most of the play, yet they ended up losing out, and they now face an incredibly tough uphill battle. The early match of the day, in Group A, also included a very late goal, with Jose Gimenez scoring to give his Uruguay side a 1-0 win over Egypt. That meant all three games had goals in the 88th minute or later, adding to two scored in the Russia and Saudi Arabia game!