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What we learned about Portugal & Spain

Portugal and Spain shared the spoils in a brilliant six-goal thriller

The Group B clash between Portugal and Spain promised to be a cracker, it didn’t disappoint. A Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, a brace from Diego Costa and a fantastic strike by Nacho shaped a fantastic game of football. Spain dominated the game but in reflection, the 3-3 scoreline was a fair result. So What did we learn about two of the World Cup’s heavyweights?

Ronaldo is hungry for more

Ronaldo’s drive for success is as strong as ever. A penalty, a fortuitous shot and a great free-kick led to another hat-trick. Portugal’s World Cup challenge will depend on Ronaldo’s form. It’s looking good so far. The Real Madrid forward seems to defy age. His odds of winning the Golden Boot have been slashed to 2/1.

The game is the work of many years. The people always believed in me and my work for the country. We tried to win it. The draw is fair for all the chances but Spain controlled the ball. Ronaldo via as.com

Spain look in decent shape but

Despite conceding three goals to the prolific Ronaldo, La Roja dominated the midfield and mixed it up. Sergio Busquets‘s long-ball led to Costa’s equaliser. A nicely worked free-kick gave Costa an opportunity to score his second of the night. When was the last time Spain and ‘Long ball’ were mentioned in the same sentence? When Spain won the World Cup in 2010 they conceded two goals, they’ve already conceded three, albeit against the ridiculously good Ronaldo.

Making the most of opportunities

Both sides took their chances when it mattered.  Portugal and Spain will have opportunities to grow in confidence when they face Iran and Morocco respectively. Costa looked assured in front of goal. The Atlético Madrid forward will take plenty of positives from his performance.

I have to work to shut people up. The goals are important but the truth is that I felt good throughout the game. There have always to be debates because this means that there are battles and this is good for the team. We are a family. Diego Costa, via marca.com

La Roja spirit

There weren’t any signs of a hangover from Julen Lopetegui’s departure. Fernando Hierro’s side overturned a 2-1 deficit to lead 3-2.

Pique should have known better

Ronaldo will always make the most of an opportunity. Gerard Piqué has faced Ronaldo on numerous occasions yet his costly challenge led to Ronaldo’s equaliser.

The spoils were shared but there will be few teams that will fancy their chances against Portugal or Spain. The World Cup is very much ‘up and running’.

 

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