A day defined by late drama
15 Jun 2018
DAY REPLAYED - Day two of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ could hardly have delivered any more dramatic twists, with the results of all three games being decided in the dying stages. A header apiece secured victory for Uruguay and IR Iran, while who else but Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show in the goalfest between Spain and Portugal, earning his country a point.
By bagging his first World Cup hat-trick, Ronaldo became just the third Portuguese player to achieve the feat at the competition after Eusebio (1966) and Pauleta (2002). The Real Madrid star opened the scoring early on, doubled his tally on the brink of half-time and then sealed his treble in style with an 87th-minute leveller. For their part, La Roja discarded the off-the-pitch turbulence of recent days to show all their quality and fighting spirit, twice falling behind but bouncing back courtesy of a Diego Costa brace and a Nacho wonder strike.
Elsewhere, Jose Maria Gimenez handed La Celeste their first win in their opening fixture at a World Cup since Mexico 1970. The centre-back's towering header in the 89th minute broke the resistance of an inspired Mohamed El Shenawy between the Egypt sticks. Iran had to wait until even later – the 95th minute, to be precise – to snatch the spoils and were indebted to a large slice of luck when hapless Moroccan defender Aziz Bouhaddouz inadvertently nodded into his own net.
Did you know?
Fernando Muslera, a veteran of the 2010 and 2014 editions, recorded his fifth clean sheet at the World Cup. In the process, he equalled the Uruguayan record held by the legendary shot-stopper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, who featured at the 1966, 1970 and 1974 tournaments.
France v Australia – Group C, Kazan
Argentina v Iceland – Group D, Moscow
Peru v Denmark – Group C, Saransk
Croatia v Nigeria – Group D, Kaliningrad
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