Real Madrid teammates, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, will be at opposing ends as Portugal take on Spain in what is arguably the pick of the bunch from the group-stage fixtures.
Friday’s fixture pitches the 2010 world champions against the reigning European champions in Sochi.
Spain are starting their World Cup campaign in a state of disarray having parted company with manager Julen Lopetegui two days before this mouth-watering opening fixture.
It is yet to be seen if this will adversely affect the team or they would even feast on their ‘predicament’
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Kick off is 7.pm
PORTUGAL TEAM NEWS!
STARTING XI: Rui Patricio; Cedric, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; Carvalho, Moutinho; Fernandes, B.Silva, Guedes; Ronaldo
SUBS: Alves, M Fernandes, A.Silva, Joao Mario, Lopes, Ruben Dias, Ricardo, Gelson, Mario Rui, Quaresma, Beto, Adrien
SPAIN TEAM NEWS!
STARTING XI: De Gea; Nacho, Pique, Ramos, Alba; Busquets, Koke; Silva, Isco, Iniesta; Diego Costa
SUBS: Carvajal, Saul, Rodrigo, Thiago, Lucas, Odriozola, Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Monreal, Iago Aspas, Asensio, Reina
The national anthems of Spain and Portugal already rendered and we are set for kickoff
Kickoff!!! Spain get the game underway
Ronaldo facing four of his Real Madrid teammates tonight… Lets see how he will fare
PENALTY!!! Ronaldo wins a penalty kick for Portugal
GOALLL: Ronaldo scores and sets a new record
Ronaldo scores his 82nd goal for Portugal tonight
Spain’s David Silva tries a shot but over the bar
Spain win their first corner of the match but they fail to make the best use of it
First Booking… Sergio Busquets gets a Yellow Card
Ronaldo takes the freekick but straight against the wall
Ronaldo is the fourth player to score in four separate World Cup tournaments the earlier trio are Pelé, Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler
Spain win their second corner as they continue to push for an equaliser
GOALLLL!!! Diego Costa with the equaliser
Another yellow this time for Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes
Free kick for Spain but Silva plays straight into the wall
Presently, ball possession: Portugal: 42%, Spain: 58%.
CLOSE!!! Iniesta almost puts Spain in front but his effort glances past the goal post
The ref blows his whistle. Pepe charged Diego Costa from behind and it’s a free-kick
HOWLER: Ronaldo scores again
Shock goalkeeping by David de Gea
One minute added time
Half Time Portugal 2-1 Spain
Portugal have a 2-1 lead into half time thanks to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo. It has been a thrilling opening 45 minutes at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, with Spain striker Diego Costa netting either side of Ronaldo’s two goals.
Second half resumes as Portugal restart the game
Iniesta wins a free kick for Spain
GOAL!!! Diego Costa strikes again
Another Goal for Spain!!!
Nacho makes it 3-2
Ronaldo fuming as he is being brought down and referee not issuing any card for the perceived rash challenge
Portugal gets their first corner in this game
SUB: Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes eplaced by Joao Mario
Second change for Portugal Ricardo Quaresma in for Bernardo Silva
Spain also pull out Andres Iniesta for Thiago Alcantara
Two-goal hero Diego Costa pulled off for Aspas as Spain look to protect their slim lead
Pique receives treatment after colliding with Ronaldo
Portugal have never lost a game in which Ronaldo’s scores more than once.. will that change tonight in Sochi?
Down he goes. Ronaldo wins a free kick for Portugal in a prime position
GOAL… Ronaldo bends it in!!!
Four minutes added time running out
FULL TIME: Portugal 3-3 Spain