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Ronaldo tricks, Spain sulk

REUTERS

 

SOCHI

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo struck thrice to secure a 3-3 draw over their Iberian rivals Spain in a pulsating World Cup Group B clash on Friday.

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea was at fault with the second goal as he allowed Ronaldo’s low shot from 20 metres to slip through his hands after 44 minutes.

Ronaldo had given Portugal the lead with a penalty after four minutes but Diego Costa equalised for Spain in the 24th when he twisted and turned inside the box before firing home.

Spain led with three minutes to go after Nacho Fernandez hit a wonderful 25-yard drive but Ronaldo was determined to steal the headlines for himself.

And he ended the day with a World Cup match-ball after hitting an outrageous late free-kick to ensure the spoils were shared in this blockbuster clash in Sochi.

Captain Ronaldo had given Portugal a fourth-minute lead from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Madrid team-mate Nacho, restoring the lead thanks to David de Gea’s horrible mistake.

Diego Costa replied twice to get the 2010 champions level, with Nacho’s beautiful goal having seemingly settled a high-class encounter at the Fisht Stadium.

Ronaldo, though, had other ideas and stepped up to beat De Gea again with a perfect 20-yard free-kick, almost snatching all three points with a stoppage-time header.

 

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