FIFA World Cup 2018: Portugal vs Spain thriller

 

Football fans witnessed thrilling Group B World Cup 2018 game between 2016 European champions Portugal and 2010 World champions Spain on Friday in Sochi.There was controversy for Spain when head coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked just two days before the start of the World Cup. Spain were 20 games unbeaten under Lopetegui while Portugal also lost just once out of 24 matches since Fernando Santos took over in Spetember 2014 for Portugal. Besides, two other teams in the group namely Morrocco and Iran were relatively weaker.

So it was much anticipated encounter between two European neighbors to win their group.
Match started with drama as  Cristiano Ronaldo earned controversial penalty early on which he converted in 4th minute to give Portugal lead. Diego Costa made solo run inside the box and beat 3 defenders to equalize for Spain in 24th minute. Ronaldo again scored  in 44th minute courtesy of horrible mistake by Spanish goalkeeper to put Portugal ahead 2-1 at half time. In the second half Costa scored his second to draw level for Spain in 55h minute. Nacho scored fabulous volley from outside the box to put Spain ahead 3-2. Just when it looked Spain would collect all three points Ronaldo scored with a fantastic free kick giving Dea Gea no chance. Ronaldo has now scored 84 international goals for Portugal, most by any active player. It was a thrilling draw & certainly one of the best games in World Cup history.
Shailesh Padhye 
Team Sportsnasha