Milan

Milan slideshow

The former Manchester City and AC Milan striker could be on the move from Nice this summer, with a move to another Ligue 1 club on the cards
Balotelli would fit in at Marseille - Raiola
The former Manchester City and AC Milan striker could be on the move from Nice this summer, with a move to another Ligue 1 club on the cards
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Switzerland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Switzerland World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Switzerland's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Switzerland's World Cup squad - 23-man squad 23-man final squad Goalkeepers: Roman Buerki (Borussia Dortmund), Yvon Mvogo (Leipzig), Yann Sommer (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund), Johan Djourou (Antalyaspor), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Lang (Basel), Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus), Jacques-Francois Moubandje (Toulouse), Ricardo Rodriguez (AC Milan), Fabian Schaer (Deportivo La Coruna) Midfielders: Valon Behrami (Udinese), Blerim Dzemaili (Bologna), Gelson Fernandes (Eintracht Frankfurt), Remo Freuler (Atalanta), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke), Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Steven Zuber (Hoffenheim) Forwards: Josip Drmic (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Mario Gavranovic (Dinamo Zagreb), Haris Seferovic (Benfica) Switzerland's World Cup 2018 fixtures Brazil: Sunday, June 17 at 7pm Serbia: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Costa Rica: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm What odds are Switzerland to win the World Cup? 100/1 The kits See where Switzerland's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Vladimir Petković, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian, has coached six Swiss domestic clubs. 27/30 points in qualifying but still needed a play-off, which they won with an iffy penalty over Northern Ireland. Who's the star? Xherdan Shaqiri. Has been called the Alpine Messi (not sure if he can ski) but certainly has the skills to slalom past opponents. Granit Xhaka had a pre-World Cup injury scare but should be fit Credit: REUTERS Best thing about them Have a good blend of youth and experience, have Granit Xhaka (who is a better player than his sometimes irritating work for Arsenal suggests) to distribute, only let in seven goals in qualifying. Worst thing about them Toothless. Likely starting forward Haris Seferovic has just 11 international goals and hasn’t scored for Benfica since October: that's 15 goals for club and country without a goal. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more You may recognise… A familiar sense of ennui while watching: the Swiss have rarely dazzled at tournaments but, ranked sixth by Fifa, are clearly worthy of respect. Cameramen will be picking out… Ripped shirts? In Euro 2016, no fewer than three Swiss players needed to change their jersey vs France. Shaqiri joked: “I hope Puma don't produce condoms.” Switzerland shirts rip as Henry jokes: I can call up Puma if you want? https://t.co/7nEPlQD3sm#wotspic.twitter.com/rM8B5BDdCl— What's on the Social (@wotstoday) June 19, 2016 Fans' favourite chant “Schweizer Nati ole, ole.” (Translation: “we have many respected financial institutions and very clean air”) On-field prediction Eminently doable second place behind Brazil would probably see them face (lose to) Germany in last-16. Off-field prediction Orderly. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Serbia World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Serbia World Cup 2018 squad list and team guide
Here we take a look at Serbia's World Cup squad and the other things it will be handy to know about the Group E challengers. Serbia's World Cup squad - the 23 names Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar). Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina). Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade). Strikers: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica). 2️⃣3️⃣ igrača koji će #SrcemSvim predstavljati našu zemlju na Svetskom prvenstvu u Rusiji. ��������#Orlovi#WorldCup#Srbija#FSSpic.twitter.com/ktTED3gS2T— Fudbalski savez Srbije | FA Serbia (@FSSrbije) June 1, 2018 Serbia's World Cup 2018 fixtures Costa Rica: Sunday, June 17 at 1pm Switzerland: Friday, June 22 at 7pm Brazil: Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm Serbia's World Cup record World Cup record: Serbia What odds are Serbia to win the World Cup? 150/1 The kits See where Serbia's shirts ends up in our ranking of all 64 World Cup shirts below: World Cup kits ranked Who's the coach? Mladen Krstajić was a quality defender but is inexperienced as a manager, this being his first posting. Took over from Slavoljub Muslin post-qualification. Who's the star? Potentially, Manchester United transfer target Sergej Milinković-Savić, who has been compared to Paul Pogba. He’s a tricky attacking midfielder built like a rugby second row. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic: Manchester United target and one to watch Credit: Getty Images Best thing about them Classy, experienced, no-nonsense professionals like skipper Aleksandar Kolarov, Branislav Ivanović, and Nemanja Matić know how to win games at the top level. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more Worst thing about them Difficult to know what to expect, given that the coach is so new. They might gel, they might fall apart. You may recognise… Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has been banging them in for Fulham, where he is on loan from Newcastle United. Expected to play up front. Cameramen will be picking out… Muslin, if possible. The former coach was unceremoniously, acrimoniously sacked despite topping qualifying amid rumours he did not want to play Milinković-Savić. Fans' favourite chant “србија србија”. Translation: “Serbia, Serbia.” A route one option. On-field prediction Brazil aside, tough to pick between them, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Group stage exit, perhaps. Off-field prediction Macho. Full 2018 World Cup squad lists and guides | Star to watch, odds, fans' chants and more WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
Transfer news, rumours LIVE: AC Milan offer Donnarumma-Morata swap, Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal
Transfer news, rumours LIVE: AC Milan offer Donnarumma-Morata swap, Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal
Transfer news, rumours LIVE: AC Milan offer Donnarumma-Morata swap, Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal
Transfer news, rumours LIVE: AC Milan offer Donnarumma-Morata swap, Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal
Transfer news, rumours LIVE: AC Milan offer Donnarumma-Morata swap, Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal
Transfer news, rumours LIVE: AC Milan offer Donnarumma-Morata swap, Jack Wilshere to leave Arsenal
Two-time World Cup winner Cafu is trying to persuade former Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo to support the Selecao in Russia
Cafu tries to enlist Pirlo as a Brazil fan
Two-time World Cup winner Cafu is trying to persuade former Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo to support the Selecao in Russia
Two-time World Cup winner Cafu is trying to persuade former Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo to support the Selecao in Russia
Cafu tries to enlist Pirlo as a Brazil fan
Two-time World Cup winner Cafu is trying to persuade former Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo to support the Selecao in Russia
Two-time World Cup winner Cafu is trying to persuade former Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo to support the Selecao in Russia
Cafu tries to enlist Pirlo as a Brazil fan
Two-time World Cup winner Cafu is trying to persuade former Milan teammate Andrea Pirlo to support the Selecao in Russia
AC Milan's owner Li Yonghong is reportedly eyeing several key investors into the club which is rumoured to include a well-known Malaysian.
Malaysian linked with investment at Milan
AC Milan's owner Li Yonghong is reportedly eyeing several key investors into the club which is rumoured to include a well-known Malaysian.
What is it? This is the World Cup 2018 Group D match between Croatia and Nigeria. When is it? The match takes place on Saturday, June 16. What time is kick-off? It will begin at 8pm (BST). What TV channel is it on? The honours for this one go to ITV1. The other option away from TV is to stay right here and follow all the team news, build-up and action when this page turns into our live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? It is one of four matches to be played at the Kaliningrad Stadium... in Kaliningrad. World Cup 2018 stadium: Kaliningrad Stadium What is the team news? Nigeria will rely heavily on 31-year-old captain John Obi Mikel to marshal the youngsters when the Super Eagles meet Croatia and its star-packed midfield. The opening Group D match pits Mikel and his young team-mates against a Croatia team powered by one of the tournament's strongest and most experienced midfields: Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid, alongside Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona. However, Kovacic may have to settle for a place on the bench alongside the likes of Milan Badelj. Nigeria look set to pick 19-year-old Francis Uzoho in goal. Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa may not make the starting XI. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more What's the latest news on the two teams? Wilfred Ndidi has overcome injury in time and will be fine to start for the Super Eagles. Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr says his starting XI is already set, but he will not reveal it "until the last moment". What are the odds? Croatia win: 3/4 Draw: 5/2 Nigeria win: 9/2 What's our prediction? We are predicting goals. But an split of them. Croatia 2 Nigeria 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
World Cup 2018, Croatia vs Nigeria: What time is kick-off today, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? This is the World Cup 2018 Group D match between Croatia and Nigeria. When is it? The match takes place on Saturday, June 16. What time is kick-off? It will begin at 8pm (BST). What TV channel is it on? The honours for this one go to ITV1. The other option away from TV is to stay right here and follow all the team news, build-up and action when this page turns into our live blog. World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game Where is the game being played? It is one of four matches to be played at the Kaliningrad Stadium... in Kaliningrad. World Cup 2018 stadium: Kaliningrad Stadium What is the team news? Nigeria will rely heavily on 31-year-old captain John Obi Mikel to marshal the youngsters when the Super Eagles meet Croatia and its star-packed midfield. The opening Group D match pits Mikel and his young team-mates against a Croatia team powered by one of the tournament's strongest and most experienced midfields: Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic of Real Madrid, alongside Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona. However, Kovacic may have to settle for a place on the bench alongside the likes of Milan Badelj. Nigeria look set to pick 19-year-old Francis Uzoho in goal. Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa may not make the starting XI. World Cup 2018 | Fixtures, groups, squads and more What's the latest news on the two teams? Wilfred Ndidi has overcome injury in time and will be fine to start for the Super Eagles. Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr says his starting XI is already set, but he will not reveal it "until the last moment". What are the odds? Croatia win: 3/4 Draw: 5/2 Nigeria win: 9/2 What's our prediction? We are predicting goals. But an split of them. Croatia 2 Nigeria 2 WorldCup - newsletter promo - end of article
AC Milan's owner Li Yonghong is reportedly eyeing several key investors into the club which is rumoured to include a well-known Malaysian.
Malaysian linked with investment at Milan
AC Milan's owner Li Yonghong is reportedly eyeing several key investors into the club which is rumoured to include a well-known Malaysian.
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust
Cristiano Ronaldo scores sensational hat-trick as Portugal hold Spain in instant World Cup classic
Every World Cup finals needs great players to do great things and there are few who intervene more consistently at the great crossroads of history than Cristiano Ronaldo, king of the big stage and all that happens on it. Just a hat-trick to declare in this, his 151st cap for Portugal against the great Spain generation of the 21st century, including a third from a free-kick which was one of those moments when he insists that the world stops what it is doing to watch. He hitched up his shorts, shut his eyes for a moment, took a deep breath and then clipped a right foot shot around the wall so accurately that David De Gea did not even spring for it. This was a World Cup game for all the ages, and if Russia 2018 had so far been about narrow margins and small nations overachieving, then this was the deluxe edition featuring two great sides and ultimately one historical footballer. These were Ronaldo’s 82nd, 83rd and 84th goals of a golden international career over which his game has changed but his contribution to Portugal, a better team that the Euro 2016 winners, but still quite ordinary, has never flagged. There is no side that knows him better than Spain do, no defence with more experience of playing with and against him and yet Ronaldo locates vulnerability wherever he goes and whoever he plays. These goals meant that he became only the fourth man in history to score in four World Cup finals and the first to do so in eight straight international tournaments, and it is not simply that he did so, it was also that he knew that he had to. He twice gave Portugal the lead, although this was still a great Spain performance at times, coming back through two goals from Diego Costa and then given the lead by Nacho. How does Ronaldo do it? He exploited his Real Madrid team-mate Nacho to win a penalty for the first, he was gifted the second by De Gea’s blunder and the third was one of those moments for which he lives. He won the free-kick, just right of centre and the perfect distance and who is to say that all that was not part of the plan, one more shrewd move in an evening that was full of them. Ronaldo hitches up his shorts, composes himself and scores his late equaliser Credit: REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino Even so, it could have been worse for Spain who dominated possession as usual but were flustered by Ronaldo early on and were unable to rely on De Gea. They broke down Portugal’s ageing defence piece by piece in the energy sapping heat of this stadium by the Black Sea and really should have won the game once Nacho gave them the lead. If the sacking of Julen Lopetegui affected them it was perhaps on their lack of composure in the early stages but they soon found their stride. The half ended with Ronaldo surreptitiously glancing up at the big screens to check out his own celebration in the way that he always permits himself to do after yet another great career plot-twist. In one half of football, he had scored his 82nd and 83rd goals of a remarkable international career against the one country that might know best how to stop him and for Portugal it was almost all going to plan. There is nothing like watching the late-era Ronaldo for a lesson in economy of movement and swift identification of the maximum opportunity. The slo-mo on the stadium screens captured the look of foreboding on the face of his Real Madrid team-mate Sergio Ramos as he realised he was not going to be able to cover the shot that was Ronaldo’s second. Ramos was late for the only show in town and the punishment was coming. Either side of Diego Costa’s tremendous equaliser, a brutal roughing-up of Portugal’s defence, Ronaldo showed how that even on this, his 151st cap for his country at the age of 33 he knows precisely where to go on the pitch and when to get there. He tricked his Madrid team-mate Nacho into conceding the softest penalty within three minutes and later dragged Ramos all over the pitch. Diego Costa beasts then beats Portugal's defence to score his first Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo has built a good partnership with the young Valencia forward Goncalo Guedes which sees the two of them balance one another’s positions well. The great goalscorer of Portugal drops into the No 10 position occasionally and flicks balls off, and there was one occasion when he cut a chance back to Guedes so unexpectedly that the younger man snatched at his chance out of what seemed surprise. That was another fine break on the counter-attack against a Spain team were open when they lost the ball, and brilliantly exploited by Ronaldo. With barely two minutes played, he brushed off David Silva and bewildered Nacho with a stepover to win the penalty which he scored. His second went straight through David De Gea, a terrible mistake from the Manchester United goalkeeper who has made a series of them for his country in recent games. He seemed to have his left hand wrongly set to make what was a routine stop. David De Gea makes an unthinkable handling error and Portugal 2-1 up Credit: AP Photo/Sergei Grits That second goal, a minute before half-time, undid Spain’s hard-work at getting back into the game. Both Isco and Andres Iniesta were lively but it was Costa’s ability to push the limits that got them the equaliser. On 24 minutes, he put an arm into Pepe’s jaw to get the ball and then twisted the hapless Jose Fonte both ways as he lined up the shot. Fonte was desperately awaiting reinforcements but they never arrived. Costa’s second equaliser of the day showed again the lack of sharpness in Fonte and Pepe, when he turned in Busquets’s knockdown. Nacho’s right foot hit, in off the post was glorious. Iniesta was replaced by Thiago and even Costa was given a rest after an evening of hunting the Portugal defence. Spain looked set to close the game out and yet by the end they came very close to losing it. When Ronaldo stepped up for his free-kick, De Gea, gave him the left side of his goal and relied on the wall which jumped as best it could - and there may even have been a flick of Busquets. Either way, it was enough and Portugal even created one more chance for Ronaldo, who these days knows that the big moments will always come his way. 9:53PM Cristiano Ronaldo speaks "We tried to win. Spain had control of the ball, but the draw was a fair result. "The team have sacrificed until the end. We were facing one of the favourites, we knew that it would be difficult. "I always believe in myself, I work for this but I want to emphasise the response of the team. "We must give credit to the team. " 9:43PM The hat-trick hero Here's James Ducker's analysis of his performance on a sultry night in Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo and the record-breaking hat-trick 9:39PM Fernando Hierro speaks briefly "I'm very pleased with the team. I think we've taken an important step and we've gained in confidence. "We've overcome all kinds of adversity. The team has fought, has personality, they haven't stopped believing, and this is important with all that has happened." "When you play against a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of thing can happen. With Cristiano, one moment of inspiration can be enough." Hierro also backed De Gea, saying: "He's one of ours and here we never abandon anyone." 9:38PM Man of the match Would have been Isco I'm sure but for the final goal: You'll never guess who was @Budweiser#ManoftheMatch... Congrats, @Cristiano! pic.twitter.com/ARVnftAvrD— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 9:23PM We're waiting for post-match quotes But here's some of the best photos of the day to entertain you while they cogitate and enunciate. Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players 9:10PM Gary Lineker Signs off by referencing the 'Three Ronnies' (ask your grandad). 'It's goodnight from me, it's good night from them and it's a good night for him.' Four candles? 9:09PM The critical moment Was Pique's unnecessary trip on Ronaldo that led to the free-kick from which he equalised. Pique brings down Ronaldo Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay 9:06PM Portugal vs Spain stats Courtesy of Opta Spain have now won their opening World Cup match in just two of their last 13 tournaments (D4 L7 – 2002, 2006). Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments (World Cup, European Championships and Copa America). Cristiano Ronaldo is just the fourth player to score in four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose. Spain conceded after just three minutes and 30 seconds – it was the fastest goal they’ve ever conceded at the World Cup. This match produced six goals, more than the previous four meetings between Portugal and Spain at major competitions (Euros and World Cup) combined (four goals). Spain striker Diego Costa scored with his first two shots on target at the World Cup. aged 33 years and 130 days – the previous oldest was Rob Rensenbrink in June 1978 for the Netherlands against Iran (30y 335d). Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 51st hat-trick for club and country, while it was also the 51sthat-trick scored in the history of the World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal of the match was his first direct free-kick goal at a major tournament for Portugal – it was his 45th attempt from a free-kick. 8:57PM Ronaldo makes the difference And here's how: Ronaldo equalises with his late hat-trick goal Credit: AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis Goal: Portugal ( 88 min ) You don't have to like him to acknowledge how blessed we've been to enjoy his sublime talent. 8:53PM Full time Portugal 3-3 Spain What a fantastic match. A game for the ages. 8:52PM 90+3 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Ronaldo has gone down with cramp after being penalised for a push as he tried to win a header in the box. He has doubled his World Cup tally from three World Cup during a single game in his fourth. 8:50PM 90+1 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Quaresma runs into the box from the right, leaving two defenders in his wake, but Koke slides in to block-tackle him and avert the threat. 8:48PM 90 min Portugal 3-3 Spain This is Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick and Portugal will start the four minutes of added time with a corner. 8:47PM 89 min Portugal 3-3 Spain Extraordinary. He bent the free-kick around the left of the wall, looped it beyond the defenders and got it to dip in under the crossbar. A punishing strike. 8:45PM GOAL!! Portugal 3-3 Spain He's done it. A hat-trick. What a strike! 8:44PM 88 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Danger here. Ronaldo is brought down by Pique 24m or so out, half a metre to the right of centre. 8:43PM 86 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain make their final substitution: Lucas Vazquez on for David Silva. I don't think we animated Spain's second equaliser. Here it is: Portugal 2 - 2 Spain (Diego Costa, 55 min) 8:42PM 84 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Ronaldo, peeved that a throw-in is given the other way, chucks the ball hard at Jordi Alba who accidentally on purpose drops it and is then harangued by the Portugal skipper for wasting time. Over comes the ref with oil for troubled waters. 8:40PM 82 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Isco ought to be the man of the match for a simply sensational performance but Sergio Busquets deserves a hell of a lot of praise and not just for his spoiling work. He's the key to attack and defence. 8:38PM 80 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal make their third substitution: Andre Silva comes on for Guedes. 8:38PM 78 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal are preparing to send Milan misfit but hero of 2016, Andre Silva, on. Cedric chips a 40m pass up the inside-right channel. Ronaldo chases with ball ahead of him and the path takes him into the box. De Gea and Pique race out to try to beat him to it and the centre-back just gets there first to toe-poke it away from Ronaldo before all three collide. 8:35PM 76 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain substitution: Diego Costa departs with two goals. Iago Aspas comes on. 8:34PM 74 min Portugal 2-3 Spain It has been an outstanding game and Portugal still look dangerous on the break especially when Himself has the ball. Quaresma collects a throw in, turns Jordi Alba and then with marvellous technique tries to arc a lob with the outside of his right foot over De Gea but he couldn't get it to dip under the bar. 8:32PM 72 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Portugal corner taken short by Quaresma to Joan Moutinho who hooks a cross to the back post. Pepe wins the header but loops it back across goal when he should have gone straight for it. Ronaldo manages to keep it in but can do no more as his momentum takes him out of play and Spain impose order on chaos, recover possession and head upfield. Look at Nacho's body position here as he shoots to score: Nacho puts Spain 2-3 up Credit: Spain's defender Nacho Fernandez scores a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium 8:28PM 71 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Jordi Alba is found on the overlap by Thiago and the left-back drags back a cross for Diego Costa who slides his first-time shot on the run past the right post. 8:27PM 69 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain bring on Thiago [Alcantara] for Andres Iniesta who receives a standing ovation (not in sequence) from the hordes in the red of Spain. 8:26PM 68 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Spain's fans are on their feet, in sequence, executing a Mexican wave. Another Portugal substitution: Quaresma replaces Bernardo Silva. 8:25PM 66 min Portugal 2-3 Spain A touch of swagger entering Isco's play but Spain give Portugal a hare to chase with a long ball upfield so they can hve a blow for a few seconds after the past intense 10 minutes. At last the ball goes out and Bruno Fernandes can be substituted. Joao Mario replaces him. 8:23PM 63 min Portugal 2-3 Spain And here's Nacho's strike: Nacho puts Spain ahead for the first time to make it 2-3 Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Portugal are getting Joao Mario ready to come on. Ramos hits a terrific long diagonal but Spain cannot prosper from their captain's vision. 8:21PM 61 min Portugal 2-3 Spain Guedes wins a header in the Spain box after a solo run from Cristiano Ronaldo as he tries to drag his team onwards but it drops awkwardly and Spain break up the left. Isco bamboozles Bernardo Silva with some dainty footwork and is kicked for his impetuosity. Free kick. 8:19PM 58 min Portugal 2-3 Spain What a sumptuous finish! Iniesta and David Silva tiptoe and tiki-taka their way into the box from the left and Portugal cannot cope and dare not dive in to tackle. The last pass is blocked and ricochets cross the area to the right where it's met on the half volley by the right back who thumps it with his laces from the right of the D, hits the inside of the left post and into the back of the net. For a right-back to keep that so low ... superb technique. Here's Diego Costa's second: Diego Costa equalises again Credit: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images 8:15PM GOAL! Portugal 2-3 Spain A screamer from Nacho! 8:14PM 55 min Portugal 2-2 Spain David Silva took the free-kick, chipping it towards the right post. Busquets had stolen away from the bigger defenders and beats Raphael comfortably, heading back across goal. Diego Costa, bullocking towards goal, outmuscles his pursuers to clip it crisply past Rui Patricio and score his second equaliser. 8:12PM GOAL! Portugal 2-2 Spain Diego Costa turns in Busquets header from the free-kick. 8:11PM 52 min Portugal 2-1 Spain It has been a slow start after the thrill of the first-half. Portugal are well-marshalled in defence, backing themselves to outnumber Spain. Iniesta is fouled 35m out, a touch to the left of dead centre, tripped by Joao Moutinho. 8:09PM 49 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Bernardo Silva, about 10m ahead of his right-back and 30m inside his half, hits an arcing left-foot pass up to Ronaldo who stuns it with his first touch, cuts inside of Jordi Alba but slips. The ball bobbles through to the left where Bruno Fernandes latches on and chances his arm with a 30m shot that flies wide. Trying to see if De Gea was jittery, perhaps, after his first-half flap. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 8:05PM 47 min Portugal 2-1 Spain David Silva caught offside after a three-man short passing routine up the right involving Iniesta and Nacho. 8:04PM 46 min Portugal 2-1 Spain Sergio Ramos works the ball back to the keeper and they begin to build with short passes. 8:03PM Out they come for Act II Portugal were clinical, Spain magnificent at times in their attacking play but made two decisive mistakes. 7:58PM Spain pepper while Portugal pierce precisely Portugal vs Spain shots on goal Portugal vs Spain shots on goal 7:57PM Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second Great goalkeepers make mistakes and De Gea remains a great goalkeeper. Some things are inexplicable. The shot was close to him but his body position looked correct and his hands well set. De Gea spills Ronaldo's shot Credit: Manu Fernandez/AP 7:54PM Diego Costa's goal He shoots Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson Diego Costa's shot is hit with terrific power Credit: Maddie Meyer/REMOTE/Getty Images Diego Costa celebrates in his usual fashion Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir 7:50PM Half-time reading This Cristiano Ronaldo piece is looking rather prescient now. 7:48PM Half-time Portugal 2-1 Spain An enthralling first half. Easily the best of the four matches so far. Who would have fingered De Gea to make such an error? 7:47PM 45 min Portugal 2-1 Spain There was a VAR check to see if Ronaldo was offside when the ball was played - he wasn't but had been earlier. I suppose that's payback to all United fans' hubris for laughing at Loris Karius. The shot, low to his right, sped along the ground but De Gea had time to get down on one knee to form a barrier. The shot split his fingers, hit his leg and went in at the right post. Portugal 2 - 1 Spain (Cristiano Ronaldo, 44 min) 7:44PM GOAL! Portugal 2-1 Spain De Gea turns Karius and spills a shot from Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the area. 7:43PM 42 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain take the free-kick after a delay, hitting a digonal out to the right for Isco who curs inside and fires a low shot that Rui Patricio dives forward headlong to gather. 7:42PM 40 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco's movement is causing untold problems as is Diego Costa who looks in superb nick. He is brought down with a shocking tackle form Pepe who hit his right ankle with the top four studs of his right boot as Diego Costa had his back to him. Free kick but no yellow card which would have been deserved. 7:40PM 38 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Spain corner after more beguiling movement down the left from Isco. Dvid Silva takes it and beats Pepe at the near post. Busquets climbs but it's too far ahead of him to control and though he does reach it he steers it over the bar with the hairs of his eyebrows the first to meet it. 7:38PM 35 min Portugal 1-1 Spain A delightful big Rondo move from Spain, effecting a triangle down the left with Jordi Alba playing in Isco who pulls back the perfect pass to Iniesta who has drifted away from Willian and taken a position ametre or so to the left of the spot. He takes it on first time, sweeping a daisy-cutter of a shot centimetres wide of the far post. Andres Iniesta with his lover Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria 7:35PM 33 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Here's Diego Costa's finish. How we've missed him: Diego Costa equalises Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson 7:33PM 30 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Apologies for the score mix-up in the last two posts, please refresh for it to update properly. Jordi Alba come sround the back on the left to crane his neck and reach a cross. His header appears to be blocked by the defender's arms which were raised above his head. He claims a penalty but the referee isn't having it. Fernandes is yellow-carded for scything Nacho down at the shins. 7:30PM 28 min Portugal 1-1 Spain Isco, ghosting in from the left again, thunders a shot against the underside of the bar from where it bounces down and hits the whitewash of the goalline. Spain shout that it's in but the GLT does not alert the ref and when we are shown a replay it clearly hits smack in the middle of the line. 7:28PM 25 min Portugal 1-1 Spain What an end-to-end swing - Portugal head the corner out and Ronaldo, always poised in the perfect position, latches on to it, races forward and looks as if he still has the gas of a 17-year-old in his legs. Surprisingly he lays the ball off to Guedes who fouls up his shot. Spain recover, Busquets knocks it long, Diego Costa controls it and Pepe falls under his challenge, possibly clipped, then he patiently waits for defenders to commit themselves at the edge of the box before drilling a superb shot into the bottom right corner through Fonte's legs. Portugal 1 - 1 Spain (Diego Costa, 24 min) 7:24PM GOAL! Portugal 1-1 Spain Diego Costa - what a superb finish. VAR is looking at it and deems it perfectly legal. He didn't foul Pepe who went down like a sack of spuds in an aerial challenge. 7:22PM 21 min Portugal 1-0 Spain That's tremendous from Iniesta as he dribbles with a soft-shoe shuffle up the byline from the corner flag and opens his body to tee up David Silva whose shot from about 7m is blocked behind for a corner. 7:20PM 20 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo takes and hits the wall but the referee had already blown for Portugal's jostling of the Spain defenders in the wall. Pictures are beginning to come in now: Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 4th-minute penalty Credit: NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images 7:19PM 19 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And back come Portugal up the right. Busquets, over-manned, goes over the ball to stop the attack, planting his studs into Bernardo's shin pad. Free-kick, 20m out, wide on the right. 7:18PM 17 min Portugal 1-0 Spain And they almost break free there, Portugal's eight men defend Spain's raid up the right by clearing the cross to Ronaldo, tucked in on the left, and he hooks a brilliant first-time volleyed pass for Guedes to run on to. The young centre-forward drifts right and ignores Ronaldo's request for a return pass and runs out of space but Spain cannot get it out of their half. 7:16PM 15 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Ball retention from Spain and their traditional probing rhythm is being established. Portugal are happy to soak it up, flood defence and try to do them on the break. Possession: Portugal vs Spain 7:14PM 13 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain are enjoying a promising spell, using Isco's movement and interchanging with Iniesta to give Pepe problems as they ghost into space. Pepe has to concede a corner to ward off the threat of being turned and Spain try to dribble it in after taking it short, taking it up the byline until thwarted by Cedric and Pepe. 7:12PM 11 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Chance for Spain. Isco bombs down the left, draws Cedric then whips in a cross towards the penalty spot that is met by David Silva who flays a right-foot shot over the bar from 15m. 7:10PM 9 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Here's what we have of the penalty and goal so far: Ronaldo is tripped by Nacho Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images Ronaldo converts the penalty Credit: AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMAD 7:08PM 6 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Spain try to regroup with some quick, precise passing before Ramos again sweeps a long pass out to the right. Spain will have a throw-in but they mess up their routine, trying to get behind Raphael and throw it too long so it rolls out of play. They've started very shoddily. 7:06PM 4 min Portugal 1-0 Spain Nacho, Real Madrid's second choice right-back, was left isolated and exposed with Ronaldo running at him after a sumptuous cushioned trap. It was a valid penalty. Nacho did touch him and shouldn't have committed himself. 7:04PM GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Spain Ronaldo smashes the penalty high to De Gea's left after the keeper dives to the right. 7:03PM 3 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Portugal have a penalty - a very slight touch from Nacho on Ronaldo who hurdled his leg but left his foot trailing to catch the clumsy tackle. 7:02PM 2 min Portugal 0-0 Spain And Rafael flies up the wing where he's played in by Bruno Fernandes and crosses. Guedes shoots but it's blocked on the edge of the area. 7:01PM 1 min Portugal 0-0 Spain Spain kick off, shift the ball back to the defence and they stroke it about until Ramos sprays a long right-foot pass out for David Silva on the right that he has to leap to control but can't keep it in play. Portugal use the re-start to attack up the left. 7:00PM Ramos and Ronaldo hug Exchange pennants and slap each other on the back. Are you ready? 1-2-3-4. Hey ho, let's go! 6:56PM Out come the teams And we begin with the anthems. Portugal sing theirs very merrily and roar at the end. Spain stare earnestly. And since their anthem has no established lyrics, what else can they do? 6:55PM Catching the eye Three of Portugal's starting XI, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes have cited 'just cause' and terminated their contracts with Sporting this week after the squad was attacked by a group of about 50 fans in May. The latter two will be in for huge contracts when they decide which clubs to join after the tournament as free agents. 6:39PM Kit clash Portugal, the 'home' side, will wear red, Spain their white away kit. What does Thom 'Trinny' Gibbs make of them? Here, you're welcome. World Cup kits ranked 6:36PM And here's himself Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals in total at his three previous World Cups Credit: REUTERS/Murad Sezer 6:28PM It took too long For David De Gea to establish himself as Spain's No1 tournament goalkeeper. But here he is: David De Gea warms up for his Spain against Portugal Credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images 6:24PM The BBC Begins its coverage with the people's poet, Kevin Turvey, and the people's poem that ends with 'It's Cristiano vs Spain'. They won the Euros without him. If it's not Eddie Butler, the BBC has gone heavy on the pre-match doggerel this past year. 6:07PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium Archie Rev, our pocket Simon Inglis, writes about Sochi thus: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 6:01PM Those XIs in black and white PortugalRui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva; Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonçalo Guedes. World Cup record: Portugal Spain De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Koke; David Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa. World Cup record: Spain Referee Gianluca Rocchi (Italy) 5:51PM And here are your teams in a less eye-boggling format Meanwhile, in Sochi... The teams for #PORESP have been confirmed �� pic.twitter.com/1PdWyonEQ9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 15, 2018 5:48PM And Spain have picked theirs �� OFICIAL | ¡Ya tenemos XI! ¡Ellos llevan nuestro escudo! ¡Portan la fuerza y la ilusión de todo un país! ¡VAMOS, ESPAÑA!��������#HagamosQueOcurra#Rusia2018pic.twitter.com/LG1bM8LrlB— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) June 15, 2018 The word on Marca was that Iago Aspas would be preferred to Koke but the Atletico midfielder is in the XI and the former Liverpool player will be risking intimate splinters on the bench. 5:45PM Portugal have named their team Este é o nosso 11 para o jogo frente a Espanha! Força, Portugal! #ConquistaOSonho#PORESP#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/fElTEIBIzV— Portugal (@selecaoportugal) June 15, 2018 And there are no surprises. 5:39PM Spoiler alert 2! Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious predictor: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 5:25PM Spain's World Cup winner - a tribute Jamie Carragher has written about Andres Iniesta, a player he rates as highly as Zinedine Zidane. Enjoy! Andres Iniesta has transformed football 4:59PM The struggle for mastery in Europe* It’s 2018 and still no Haggerston beardie has come up with a viable, pithy name for the Portugal vs Spain rivalry other than the frankly stuffy ‘Iberian Derby’. Never mind, eh? I suppose we will just have to steel ourselves to cope without any portentous guff about a ‘Trans-Peninsula civil war’ played out to a soundtrack that welds Fado to some Flamenco golpes. What we have instead in Sochi is a match between neighbours who between them have been European champions for the past 10 years and yet, given their records as serial qualifiers for these tournaments, have met only once before in the World Cup finals, eight years ago in Cape Town when David Villa’s ‘offside’ goal was allowed to stand in the Round of 16 and Spain went on to become world champions. Only those who have been living under rocks will have missed that Spain, having qualified at a stroll with nine wins and a solitary draw, have had their preparations thoroughly janked by kind old Florentino Pérez, equitable and benevolent president of Real Madrid, who has detonated their preparations by poaching Julen Lopetegui to be a cut-price manager of his club. Narrow self-interest and party loyalty before country, now where have we seen that before? Spain World Cup tactics article Yet Spain have responded with admirable resoluteness, sacking Lopetegui and putting their sporting director, Fernando Hierro, in charge. Hierro may have managed only a season in Liga B in charge of Oviedo, but if you ask Jupp Heynckes and John Toshack, he effectively co-managed Real Madrid with other Bernabéu barons for large parts of his later years with Real Madrid. He left Real Madrid after protesting at the sacking of Vicente del Bosque and at the way Pérez was running the club. His thoughts about his old president’s conduct would be well worth hearing. He was a demanding and determined captain, but adaptable too. When Iván Campo and Sam Allardyce persuaded him to move to Bolton Wanderers for his last season as a player, he rolled back the years and was outstanding at times in a holding midfield role even though there were only fumes left in the tank. There has been plenty of comment over the past few days that Spain, with World Cup-winners Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Sergio Busquets, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the team plus David de Gea, Diego Costa, Dani Carvajal, Jordi, Isco et al, will essentially manage themselves. I don’t think that’s how it works with Hierro. But he is clever enough not to inhibit them with any late tactical changes and, as a speaker, he is far more inspirational than his here-today-gone-tomorrow predecessor, El Rata. Portugal World Cup tactics As for Portugal, they also qualified with nine victories but their defeat by Switzerland, who also enjoyed a 9-1 record, meant they topped the group only on goal difference. There is a sense that some of the bloom from their victory at Euro 2016 has wilted, the veteran defence is two years older than it was in France and while the midfield is of prime age and promise and the strategy has broadened from simply serving Cristiano Ronaldo, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner remains too important at the age of 33 to carry the banner through seven games. In France, they were frankly awful until the semi-final and then prevailed in one of the worst major finals in history. Ugly as sin, they still found a way to win. Spoiler alert - Portugal may try to suck the life out of the game and draw Spain towards sterility but don’t let that kill the keen anticipation. Diego Costa vs Pepe! Cristiano Ronaldo vs Sergio Ramos! Spain vs Portugal! El Derby del Guadiana! Oh no, I did it. Where’s my razor? * In AJP we trust