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Portugal vs Spain, FIFA World Cup 2018, Highlights: As it Happened | June 16, 2018, 1:50 AM IST
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Latest update: Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick has saved the day for Portugal once again as they play out an entertaining six goal draw in Sochi against Spain to kick start their 2018 FIFA World Cup. This has been a classic World Cup contest.

Catch all the action from the match between Portugal and Spain in Group B on the News18Sports Live blog.
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Jun 16, 2018 1:37 am (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 1:23 am (IST)

Full time: Spain and Portugal have played a thrilling 3-3 draw in Sochi. Portugal continue to not lose when Ronaldo scores. This has been an absolute classic World Cup contest. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:20 am (IST)

Ronaldo had another chance to score as Quaresma's ball came in from the left, but the striker is unable to control the header. He is now suffering from what one would imagine is cramps. He has gone down and Ramos helps him up to his feet. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:19 am (IST)

There are 4 minutes of added time and expect both sides to go for the winner. Ricardo Quaresma cuts in from the left but his shot is well blocked inside the box. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:17 am (IST)

STAT ATTACK: Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first player to score a hat-trick against Spain in the World Cup finals. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:15 am (IST)

GOAL: Cristiano Ronaldo has found the back of the net once again with a picture perfect free-kick! That is a hat-trick for the man as David de Gea is left stranded as the ball goes up and over the wall and dips into the goal. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:14 am (IST)

Pique and Ronaldo old rivals are at it again. The forward draws the foul just outside the box and Ronaldo is lining it up. de Gea will want things to be perfect in front of him. An equaliser will set the cat among the pigeons now. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:12 am (IST)

Portugal looking for an equaliser with Ronaldo having the likes of Quaresma and Andre Silva in terms of fresh legs coming off the bench. 5 minutes to go for the European champions but they need to get the ball first. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:10 am (IST)

Thiago and David Silva combine down the middle as Aspas is in space to let fly a shot. But it's tame and the Portgual keeper Patricio has it covered without any trouble. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:09 am (IST)

Ten minutes to go as Isco continues to move the ball around comfortably from the right. Spain likely to look to keep the ball and hold up play. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:07 am (IST)

High ball over the Spain defense looking for Ronaldo has three players on the ground with Pique, David de Gea and Ronaldo all going for the ball. No one gets enough on it and Spain recover the ball and look to rebuild. Understandably they will take their time as Pique comes back onto the field of play. 

Jun 16, 2018 1:04 am (IST)

There won't be a hat-trick for Diego Costa as he is coming off with 15 minutes to go. Iago Aspas comes on in place of him.

Jun 16, 2018 1:04 am (IST)

Ronaldo now starting off the move from the left as he looks to make space in the penalty box after playing it in to the centre of the park, the ball goes out to Quaresma, who wins a throw and then tries to shoot, but it's well over David de Gea's goal. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:59 am (IST)

At the other end Portugal are looking to up the ante and Quaresma won them a corner but the Spanish defenders whack it clear.

Jun 16, 2018 12:58 am (IST)

Isco once again is at the centre of things as he plays it out to Thiago who plays it back to Silva before Jordi Alba's square ball is met by Diego Costa with scuffed shot. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:57 am (IST)

Cedric sends one into the box for Ronaldo, but Pique jumps highest and clears his lines. Spain have dominated possession in the second half which has seen 20 minutes fly by, literally fly by faster than in any game so far at the World Cup. Isco and David Silva have been giving the Portugal defenders lots to do as they make the play in the midfield and seamlessly switch positions whenever they feel like. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:56 am (IST)

Portugal are now making a change as Joao Mario comes on as they look to get an equaliser after going behind for the first time tonight. Spain meanwhile are getting Thiago ready for the last twenty minutes of the game. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:50 am (IST)

15 minutes into the second half and Portugal get their first corner of the game. Tells you a lot about how Spain have controlled the game for major chunks of the match. Expect more of the same as the Spanish midfield move Portugal around with ease. Isco and David Silva are having a brilliant game in Sochi. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:46 am (IST)

GOAL: A pile-driver of a shot by Nacho from just outside the penalty box. He hammers it home and it goes in off the post. Spain lead Portugal 3-2. Nacho's first international goal will be remembered for days to come and will be a contender for goal of the tournament.

Jun 16, 2018 12:42 am (IST)

GOAL: Diego Costa strikes again after the free-kick routine works perfectly. Silva plays it to Sergio Busquets at the far post who knocks it down for Deigo Costa to tap it in from close range. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:41 am (IST)

A rare bad pass from Isco in the final third for Spain, but they have won the ball back after Ramos' towering header near the centre line. Iniesta draws a foul after that and Spain have a set-piece about 30 yards out 

Jun 16, 2018 12:39 am (IST)

Silva, Koke and Nacho are passing the ball between themselves on the right as Portugal defend deep early in the second half. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:37 am (IST)

Portugal with Ronaldo leading the attacking move find a way around the Spain defense, almost at least, but Ramos stops the cutback to Guedes and Spain rebuild, as usual. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:33 am (IST)

There have been no changes in personnel for either side as the second half commences and Portugal have lost possession early on. Spain's Ramos and Pique rebuild from the back. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:32 am (IST)

The second half is about to commence as Spain come out before Portugal. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:31 am (IST)

While Portugal have ended the first half in the lead and will look to add it in the second half, Spain have been dominant on the ball and have looked like scoring more often than their opponents. The next 45 minutes is coming up and this will be a crucial second half. How costly will the de Gea error prove to be? 

Jun 16, 2018 12:22 am (IST)
Jun 16, 2018 12:17 am (IST)

End of the first half at Sochi: Cristiano Ronaldo's first half brace has Portugal leading Spain 2-1. Diego Costa scored for Spain. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:14 am (IST)

GOAL: An absolute howler from David de Gea as he lets Cristiano Ronaldo's shot slip through his hands. Portugal lead 2-1 with minutes to go for half time. 

Jun 16, 2018 12:13 am (IST)

David Silva and Isco have moved to the right hand side of attack now and Isco tries to shoot with his left foot but it is easy for Patricio to deal with. Portugal have not been able to stitch together a good move in quite a while. 

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Portugal vs Spain, FIFA World Cup 2018, Highlights: As it Happened
(Image: AFP)

Preview: When the draw for the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup was made, the match between Spain and Portugal on the borders of the Black Sea looked as if it would decide which of the two sides would finish top of Group G. However, 24 hours before kick-off it has taken on a whole new significance. Real Madrid announced that the Spanish national side coach Julen Lopetegui would take charge of the club in July. The Spanish football federation, RFEF wasted no time in sacking him on Wednesday. A few hours later, RFEF director of sport Fernando Hierro was named as his replacement. Hierro was a great player for Real Madrid and Spain in his day, but has only one season's experience as the first team coach of second division Oviedo. With less than 48 hours before Spain kick off their World Cup campaign against the 2016 European champions, it is hard to imagine what changes Hierro can make to the tactics Lopetegui had been using in preparation for Russia. David de Gea is certain to start in goal, while in defence, Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are fixtures, with the only doubt being whether the more attack minded Alvaro Odriozola or the adaptable and ever-reliable Nacho Fernandez is given the task of playing at right back where they will have to defend against Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo. Spain's last preparation game, a 1-0 win at home to Tunisia on June 9 left some doubts in midfield with Koke and Thiago Alcantara expected to battle it out for a place alongside Sergio Busquets, David Silva, Andres Iniesta and possibly Isco. That started the debate over whether Lopetegui would pick Diego Costa as a central striker or use the pace and mobility of Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno against a solid, organised, but aging Portugal defence. Hierro is bound to have his own ideas on this, but with such short notice he probably won't have time to implement them and he will have to go with whatever Lopetegui had planned. Spain's lack of punch in the first half against Tunisia implies he will probably go with Koke in midfield and perhaps with Costa and Aspas in attack and Isco starting on the bench. Predicting the Spain starting 11 was a guessing game before Lopetegui was sacked. Hierro's job now is working on the morale and unity of a squad that must be in shock after seeing the man who led them undefeated for the past two years shown the door on the eve of the most important football tournament in the world. The first obstacle for Spain is Portugal, who will be making their seventh appearance at the World Cup and their fifth in a row. Their best performance came on their debut in 1966, when they finished third after losing to hosts England in the semi-finals. But their title win at the Euro 2016 has been their best moment in recent years. But after the euphoria of winning Euro 2016, even the most ardent aficionado of Portugal would admit that their victory was largely unexpected and was achieved in a pragmatic, attritional style under the guidance of Fernando Santos. Portugal's playing style totally contrasts Spain, who like to play technical, skillful and free-flowing football. Santos will also be under pressure, having dropped the ever-present Nani (the third most capped player in Portugal's history), the hero of the Euro 2016 final, Eder, and the Barcelona pair of Nelson Semedo and Andre Gomes. A Portugal team without these four would have been unthinkable a few short months ago. New attacking talent comes in the form of Andre Silva and Goncalo Guedes, who will be hoping to replace the likes of Nani and Quaresma in the near future. Portugal's system is built on a solid defence with relatively few goal scoring chances being created, in the hope that Ronaldo will need just half a chance to score. The 33-year-old talisman has formed an impressive partnership with Silva and their link-up play will be vital if Portugal are to have a successful tournament. As Portugal's all-time record appearance maker and goalscorer, Ronaldo is unquestionably the leader of the team, and has scored for his country in their last seven major tournaments. Ronaldo will be up against some of his Real Madrid clubmates, who will be eager to get Spain back on track after the coach's change.

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