Cristiano Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a stunning free kick to earn Portugal a draw with Spain in Friday night’s thrilling World Cup clash.
La Roja, after a few days in disarray, looked on course to seal a doubter-quietening win only for Ronaldo to score the 51st hat-trick in World Cup history and 51st hat-trick of his career.
Spain endured a nightmare start as Ronaldo became the fourth player in World Cup history to score in four different tournaments when he drew a penalty and scored in the fourth minute
Diego Costa soon levelled matters with a fine solo effort, taking on and beating Pepe, Jose Fonte and Cedric Soares with Portugal in the ascendency.
It was then Spain’s turn to up the ante heading into half-time as Isco thought he has put his nation ahead with a blistering volley which crashed off the bar but did not cross the goalline.
But it was advantage Portugal at the break as De Gea fumbled Ronaldo’s left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area in a goalkeeping howler.
The second half started slowly until Costa latched onto Sergio Busquets knock down to convert from a yard out to again level matters, matching Ronaldo goal for goal.
Then, minutes later, Spain took the lead for the first time as Nacho’s sweetly hit volley beat Rui Patricio after bouncing off both posts.
With still half an hour to play, Costa had the chance to complete his hat-trick but mistimed the kick. He was later taken off his Iago Aspas.
Spain had Portugal exactly where they wanted them and simply kept the ball, prodding and probing for the gaps in defence, until Gerard Pique gave away a foul on the edge of the area in the 88th minute.
Ronaldo stepped up and found the top corner to leave Portugal and Spain level in Group B.