Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed his top-class rating yesterday when he scored an incredible hattrick against Spain in Portugal’s Group B opening game as Athletico Madrid’s striker Diego Costa grabbed a brace for Spain in a six-goal cracker.
The five-time world best footballer opened scores via a penalty in the 4th minute becoming the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments but Diego Costa drew Spain level twenty minutes later. Ronaldo put Portugal back ahead just before the break with a mistake by Spanish and Manchester United keeper David De Gea but Costa again equalized for Spain in the 55th minute.
Spanish defender Nacho who caused the Ronaldo penalty early in the game made up for it when he put his country ahead just three minutes later with a blistering half volley and it seemed Spain will run away with the game but Ronaldo scored a brilliant freekick just two minutes to stoppage time to complete his hat trick and announced Portugal’s serious intentions at Russia 2018.
Two African representatives at the Mundial, Egypt and Morocco and lost their group games against Uruguay and Iran respectively on Friday by a lone goal each in their Groups A and B. The Egyptians missed talismanic striker Mo Sallah who watched the game from the bench.
Nigeria will play Croatia Saturday evening in their Group D match.