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The World Cup finally caught fire on Friday night as Portugal and Spain served up a classic clash of football’s big European superpowers in Sochi.

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick, while Spanish striker Diego Costa bagged a brace in a thrilling 3-3 draw that ebbed and flowed, with huge momentum shifts and spectacular goals lighting up the Fisht Olympic Stadium.

The game got off to a flying start as the referee pointed to the spot after just three minutes when Ronaldo went to ground under pressure from Nacho inside the penalty area.

The Real Madrid superstar then picked himself up and coolly slotted the penalty to put the European Champions ahead, before celebrating wildly with his teammates.

But Spain came storming back and equalised in the 24th minute through a phenomenal solo effort from Costa.

The Atletico Madrid man challenged Pepe for a high ball, then twisted and turned his way into the penalty area before firing hard and low into the bottom corner for a stunning leveller.

Spain started to take charge of the game after that strike, but it was the Portuguese who went in with the advantage thanks to a monumental howler by Spanish keeper David De Gea.

Ronaldo’s low shot from the edge of the area went straight at De Gea. It should have been a routine save, but the ball squirmed through the Manchester United keeper’s hands, through his legs and into the net.

The second half started where the first period left off, as Spain took charge and scored from a well-worked free kick. The floated delivery was headed back across goal by Sergio Busquets for Costa to charge in and stab home from close range for his second goal of the game.

And Spain took the lead just minutes later, when a deep cross found its way to Nacho, who connected with a rocket of a half-volley that flew into the bottom corner to put the 2010 World Champions 3-2 up.

But while Spain looked to be on top, Portugal always had a chance with Ronaldo on the pitch, and after the talismanic skipper earned himself a free kick 25 yards from goal, he pulled up his shorts, took aim and fired a stunning free-kick past De Gea to level things up again.

Thrilling action. Stunning goals. And a hat-trick to save the game. Portugal 3-3 Spain delivered the goods.

And that man Ronaldo proved his greatness with a performance to remember.