Cristiano Ronaldo spoils Spain's party with a world-class free-kick to end game 3-3

Cristiano Ronaldo spoils Spain's party with a world-class free-kick to end game 3-3

- Cristiano has now scored in 9 consecutive major tournaments just as Ghana's Asamoah Gyan

- The Portugal striker puts in one of his best performances in a Portugal shirt

It was a night Cristiano Ronaldo designed and decorated. The Portuguese and Real Madrid superstar scored a hat-trick as Spain and Portugal shared honours in the World Cup's fourth game at the Fisht Stadium.

Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 4th minute of affairs after he was brought down in the box by Real Madrid teammate Nacho Fernandez. Referee from Italy Gianlucca Rocchi immediately pointed to the spot.

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However, Sapin were not to undone by going down early. The midfield combination of Iniesta, Isco and David Silva drew ring around Portugal. The lion's share paid off in the 24th minute when Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa scored a characteristic goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo in battle with Spain defender Nacho. Photo credit: ESPN

After shrugging off a challenge from Portugal defender Pepe, Costa got himself into the box and fired past Rui Patricio.

Spain continued to keep possession, only allowing the Portugal frontline of Ronaldo, Guedes and Bernardo Silva crumbs of the ball. Spain were then punished in the 44th minute after an embarrassing howler from Man United keeper David De Gea.

Ronaldo latched onto a pass from Guedes about 22 yards out of the Spanish goal and fired. But what should have been a comfortable save for De Gea actually saw the ball bouncing off a knew and then past the keeper. Half time was soon to come.

Spain kept the pressure after the recess. The sheer physicality of Diego Costa and the trickery of Isco and David Silva were clearly alittle too much for Portugal. In the 55th minute Sergio Busquets set up Costa to make it 2-2.

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Spain did not rest on their laurels for in the 58th minute they scored again. Nacho Fernandez who started in the right-back position controversially ahead of Dani Carvajal and Cesar Azpilicueta scored with a 25 yard thunderbolt.

The remainder looked like Spain was waiting for the blast of the final whistle. They kept the ball especially in the midfield where the likes of Busquets and Iniesta where just happy to release the attackers.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Diego Costa was excellent bully of Portugal's defenders on the night. Photo credit: FIFA via Getty Images

Incursion after incursion from Spain did not yield results. Portugal had Joao Mario and Quaresma on for Fernandes and Silva respectively. Spain threw on Alcantara, Aspas and Real winger Vazquez.

But just when it seemed like the story was written, a long ball from the Portuese half found Ronaldo. The striker whose back was turned to the Spanish goal was fouled by Gerard Pique. Referee whistled for a foul about 30 yards out of goal.

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Only one man was going to take for Portugal as Ronaldo stood over the ball. He did his signature steps back and heavy breaths out and his was firmly on goal.

Somehow, everyone knew it. Ronaldo curled an unstoppable shot past the human wall and straight into the net. De Gea was scrambling to no good.

Ronaldo is now the fourth player to have scored in four World Cups after Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Pele. The Portugal captain is also the second after Ghanaian Asamoah Gyan to have scored in 9 consecutive tournaments.

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Earlier in the day, Iran beat Morocco by a lone goal. This means that the Middle Easterners are top of Group B with Sapin and Portugal having one point apiece. Morocco is last.

Fifa 2018 Most Powerful Teams: Football Team Ranking For The Fifa World Cup:

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