Russia Watch: Ronaldo hat-trick rescues Portugal

It was trademark Cristiano Ronaldo on Day 2 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, with the Portugal star scoring an incredible treble to secure a thrilling draw against Spain.

Elsewhere, there was late drama in the other two matches as Uruguay and Iran both recorded vital wins.

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It’s all here in our daily wrap looking at the results and news from the FIFA World Cup™ with our Russia Watch.


Ronaldo showed all his class in Sochi with a stunning hat-trick to salvage a late 3-3 draw against Spain in a blockbuster match in Group B.

Ronaldo twice gave Portugal the lead in the first-half, the first from the penalty spot inside four minutes before restoring their advantage after a horrible error from Spain keeper David de Gea.

Diego Costa replied for the 2010 champions on both occasions before Spain looked like they would take all three points following an incredible strike from defender Nacho.

But Ronaldo had other ideas. The Real Madrid star struck with just three minutes left, beating de Gea with a dipping and swerving free-kick from just outside the box.

"I am very happy," Ronaldo told reporters.

"It's a personal best which is beautiful - it's one more record in my career.

"It's more important to highlight what the team has done, playing against a favourite for the World Cup. In my opinion it was a fair result.

"We are very happy, and a very hard-fought game. Now we think about the next match."

Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva said of Ronaldo: "He is getting better and better [with age].

"Everyone was expecting him to get older and stop playing as well as he used to but he is getting better. I hope he can maintain this form for the next games in Russia."

"It's not difficult to play with Cristiano. It's easy. You just give him the ball and he makes things happen. We enjoy having him on our team."


An own goal from Aziz Bouhaddouz in second-half stoppage-time has condemned Morocco to a 1-0 loss to Iran in St Petersburg.

While the Iranians were second best for much of the match, they defended stoutly and then made the most of a late free-kick to snatch all three points and take top spot in Group B.

Substitute Bouhaddouz, who was introduced into the match with 13 minutes left, put Ehsan Haji Safi's free-kick into his own net with a diving header in the 95th minute.

It was a cruel end for the Moroccan’s who created the best chances of a hard-fought encounter.

And Iran created a piece of history in the match, becoming the first team since 1966 to score a goal in a half of a FIFA World Cup™ match without attempting a single shot on target in that 45 minutes.


A last-minute header from defender Jose Gimenez has helped Uruguay see-off a brave Egypt in an absorbing Group A clash in Ekaterinburg.

In a match that could have gone either way, a Mohamed Salah-less Egypt looked like they would come away with at least a draw as keeper Mohamed El-Shenawy repelled the Uruguayan’s late onslaught.

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Suarez missed to golden chances in either half in an uncharacteristically poor performance from the Barcelona forward, while strike partner Edinson Cavani struck the post with a late free-kick.

But as the clock was about to tick over to 90 minutes, Gimenez rose highest to meet a free-kick and bury a header past El-Shenawy.