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Southampton’s Cedric and Portugal inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo in World Cup thriller against Spain

Cedric’s Portugal equalised late as Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick against Spain in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Cedric’s World Cup campaign with Portugal got off to a dramatic start as his side equalised late on in a 3-3 draw against Spain in Group B.

Southampton right-back Cedric played the full 90 minutes in Sochi and was part of a Portugal defence which battled to stave off any attacks from an impressive-looking Spanish forward line.

Former Saints captain Jose Fonte also featured in the heart of the Portugal defence.

The talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the score for Portugal via a stunning free-kick with just two minutes left on the clock. That goal secured the Real Madrid forward a hat-trick - his first at a World Cup.

As far as World Cup group games go, this one was rather special.

Portugal took the lead within five minutes as Ronaldo comfortably dispatched a penalty he had won to begin with. But Spain’s Diego Costa returned fire with a powerful, accurate finish to equalise as it looked like Fernando Hierro’s men had taken control of the game.

As the game drew closer to the half-time whistle, Ronaldo popped up again with a goal, this time thanks to an uncharacteristic error from Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, who fumbled Ronaldo’s low, but tame, shot into his net.

Portugal headed into half-time in control of the scoreline, but the game was turned on its head in three minutes of playing time.

Costa popped up again with a goal through a simple tap in thanks to a smart Spanish set-piece.

Then Real Madrid’s Nacho, who gave away the penalty which Ronaldo duly stroke home early in the game, struck a beautiful Cuco Martina-esque banana shot with the outside of his foot from distance to give Spain what looked like a valuable 3-2 lead.

Portugal looked dead and buried, but Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with a lovely-looking free-kick which left De Gea rooted to the spot as it dipped in the top corner of his goal.

Cedric’s Portugal snatched a dramatic point with the clock inching closer to injury time and have set themselves up well to advance to the knockout stages of the World Cup.