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Portugal 3-3 Spain, World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, Costa brace in instant classic

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Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

90+5min: FULL TIME. Too bad this has to end. What a match!

90+2min: Quaresma dances, jinks, fakes, shoots ... blocked! That could’ve been amazing.

90min: Four minutes added on.

88min: BUT! There’s Cristiano. A free kick. A third goal. WOW.

85min: Spain back to seeing the game out in their usual professional way. Lucas Vazquez replaces the excellent David Silva.

79min: De Gea bailed out from his bad decision to come out by a Quaresma handball. Andre Silva meanwhile replaces the fairly poor Goncalo Guedes for Portugal’s final change.

77min: Diego’s day is over after an hour and fifteen of goals, tackles, harassment, and all the usual thing a motivated Diego Costa is known for. Great game for the former Chelsea striker. Aspas replaces him.

71min: Costa misses a great chance for his hat-trick, slicing his shot after another excellent combination between Thiago, Silva, and Jordi Alba finds Costa crashing the box.

69min: Old man Quaresma next on the scene for young man Bernardo Silva. Spain respond with more control, young man Thiago replaces old man Iniesta.

68min: Portugal attempt to change the flow, bring on Joao Mario for Bruno Fernandes.

65min: Spain now in full control.

58min: Barely four minutes later, Nacho scores a ridiculous half-volley and Spain lead for the first time!

54min: Moutinho gives away a lazy free kick in the center of the pitch. Spain work a lovely combination from it and Costa gets his second with an easy tap-in!

52min: Spain with all the possession. No real danger.

49min: Bruno Fernandes with the first shot of the second half. Harmlessly wide from range.

46min: Second half underway after a breathless first. No changes, Portugal lead 2-1 on a Cristiano Ronaldo brace.

44min: David De Gea oopsie. Don’t see that very often. Cristiano Ronaldo gets his second.

40min: Midfield blows traded, with Spain controlling possession and Portugal looking to counter, as per plan A for both teams.

35min: Iniesta’s placed shot rolls wide of the far post after great work and cutback from Jordi Alba on the left.

33min: A few minutes pass without too much drama. A chance to breathe, then.

29min: D.Silva wastes a good free kick opportunity and hits it straight into the wall. Portugal counters, wastes it again.

26min: It’s all happening! Isco hits one off the crossbar, it bounces down and out. NO GOAL. The follow-up is saved but it was offside anyway. Phew.

24min: Diego Costa doing Diego Costa things. Takes on four, dances, spanks it into the low corner. VAR approves.

21min: D.Silva with another good chance, blocked for a corner. Portugal counter from a corner and really should score their second, but it goes to waste. That man Guedes the culprit once again.

17min: Busquets earns a yellow for a studs first challenge.

16min: Guedes leads the counter charge, but for some inexplicable reason he ignores Cristiano streaking up the left side and settles for a tame long shot that’s blocked.

10min: Silva with a decent chance from Costa’s knockdown, but the effort flies high.

5min: Well that didn’t take long. Nacho brings down Cristiano and he makes no mistake from the spot. Should’ve started Azpilicueta!

KICK-OFF: And we’re off!

After two 1-0 games today, both won at the death by headed goals, we get the main event: Portugal, Champions of Europe vs. Spain, former Champions of the World. Two teams from the same peninsula, an eternal rivalry.

While chances are that both teams will eventually advance from the group, tonight’s winner is likely to finish top.

Should be a great one. And that’s before we get to all the drama surrounding Spain’s head coaching position, where Fernando Hierro is the new man theoretically in charge.

Portugal starting lineup (4-3-3):
Rui Patricio | Guerreiro, Fonte, Pepe, Cedric | Bruno Fernandes, Moutinho, W.Carvalho | Cristiano Ronaldo, Guedes, B.Silva

Substitutes from: Bruno Alves, M.Fernandes, An.Silva, Joao Mario, Anthony Lopes, Ruben Dias, Pereira, G.Martins, Rui, Quaresma, Beto, Ad.Silva

Spain starting lineup (4-2-3-1):
De Gea | Jordi Alba, Ramos, Pique, Nacho | Koke, Busquets | Iniesta, Isco, D.Silva | Costa

Substitutes from: Carvajal, Saul, Rodrigo, Thiago, Lucas Vazquez, Odriozola, Kepa, Azpilicueta, Monreal, Aspas, Asensio, Reina

Date / Time: Friday, June 15, 2018, 19:00 BST; 2pm EDT
Venue: Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)
On TV: BBC One (UK); FOX, Telemundo (USA); elsewhere
Streaming online: BBC iPlayer (UK); FOX Sports Go, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo; Sling World Cup (USA)

Stay tuned for updates, highlights, etc.

And be excellent to each other.

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