The Breathless Reaction To A Magical Cristiano Ronaldo Performance

Reuters

It was also the 51st hat-trick in World Cup history, but it might not be the last as the finals jumped into life on Friday. Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a magnificent hat-trick and Nacho Fernandez threw his name in the ring for the best goal of the tournament.

Some calculated menace and brilliance from Spain's Diego Costa brought Spain level shortly thereafter, only for a Ronaldo effort to catch out the usually reliant David De Gea - 2-1 at half-time.

Iberian rivals Spain and Portugal produced an absolute stone-cold classic World Cup clash on Friday night, with Cristiano Ronaldo once again the star of a hugely entertaining show.

"I have to work to shut people up", said Costa, who was criticised after his disappointing performance at the 2014 World Cup.

However, he missed a great opportunity by two-touching the ball when he should have one-timed it at the net. And neither did the Real Madrid man.

"We don't have any doubts about De Gea and he doesn't have any doubts about himself either", Hierro said.

"It wasn't an easy situation, but when you have this extremely good group of young players, and the staff, these excellent professionals, they make your life a lot easier".

Ronaldo's second involved a bit more luck as his shot from just outside the area was woefully mishandled by Spain goalkeeper David De Gea, who somehow failed to keep a relatively tame shot out of the net.

Goal-line technology came into play a few moments later when a Francisco "Isco" Alarcon's shot struck the crossbar and dropped straight down on the goal line. The ball pinged so hard off the inside of the post it managed to find its way into the opposite side netting.

Costa did look to have fouled Pepe in the build-up, courtesy of a flailing arm, although the defender went to ground far too easily.

In the other match, Iran claimed only its second-ever World Cup win, beating Morocco 1-0 on a heartbreaking own goal by Morocco's Aziz Bouhaddouz.

Spain: The Spanish looked lost after conceding the early goal to Ronaldo, but Costa's strike helped Hierro's team settle down and even the match.

Portugal starting XI:Rui Patricio; Cedric Soares, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerrero; Joao Moutinho, Bruno Fernandes, Bernado Silva, Goncalo Guedes; Cristiano Ronaldo.

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