World Cup: Portugal 3 Spain 3 - 5 things you need to know

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, on June 15, 2018.
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi, on June 15, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

1. THE GOALS

Portugal 3 (Cristiano Ronaldo 4th, 44th and 88th) Spain 3 (Diego Costa 24th and 55th, Nacho 58th)

2. THE WOW MOMENT

Where to begin? From Costa nabbing his first and second-ever World Cup goals to Nacho scoring his first for Spain with a blockbuster strike. But Ronaldo will claim all the headlines and rightfully so as he maintained his fine record of having never lost with Portugal after scoring more than once in a game.

3. THE TALKING POINT

There were two in fact. Despite a tepid start to the game, La Roja showing plenty of heart and enterprise following the shock sacking of Julen Lopetegui earlier in the week. Naysayers had predicted Spain would fall apart at the seams, but they could count themselves unlucky. The second being that the Group B match came just hours after Ronaldo settled his tax evasion case with the Spanish authorities to serve two years in prison, which in all probability be suspended, and pay a €18.8 million (S$29.4 million) fine. Not only did Ronaldo play like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, but how fitting was it that his treble came against Spain?

4. THE STAR

It's impossible to look past Ronaldo. He now has the joint-second highest number of international goals (84) and is the first player in World Cup history to score a treble against Spain. It also was his sixth hat-trick for Portugal and his 51st career treble.

5. WHAT THE RESULT MEANS

Both sides will still be heavily fancied to qualify from Group B and this match was essentially a battle between who will finish first and second. Spain taking Costa off 13 minutes from time seemed to hand the initiative back to Portugal with substitute Iago Aspas unable to do the same job in pressing defenders high up. Besides not having a reliable alternative to Costa, there will also be question marks over David de Gea with the goalkeeper doing his best Loris Karius impression in letting Ronaldo's shot slip through his fingers into the net. As for Portugal, they remain a one-man show and coach Fernando Santos must ensure Ronaldo's supporting cast can step up to assist their all-time leading goalscorer.