June 15 (UPI) — Cristiano Ronaldo‘s hat-trick helped Portugal to draw its 2018 FIFA World Cup first stage Group B match against Spain.
The game was played Friday in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
The goals were scored by Spain’s Diego Costa (24′ and 55′) and Nacho (58′). Portugal’s Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a free-kick (4′ pen, 44′ and 88′). It was Ronaldo’s 51st hat-trick and the first one at World Cups.
Ronaldo has become the world’s forth player, after Brazil’s Pele, Germany’s Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler, to score goals at four World Cup events and the world’s first to score at eight consecutive major events.
Friday’s match was the 36rd for Portugal and Spain and their 14th draw. Spain won 16 games and was defeated by Portugal six times.
With one point each, Spain and Portugal share the second and third places in their Group B. Iran is leading with three points. Morocco is fourth, with zero points.
The reigning European Champions, Portugal, is scheduled to face Morocco on June 20 in Moscow, while Spain will play against Iran on the same day in Kazan.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.