AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Hat trick hero Ronaldo drags Portugal to draw with Spain

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  • Spain goals: Costa (24′, 55′), Nacho (58′)
  • Portugal goals: Ronaldo (4′, 44′, 88′)
  • Next: Spain-Iran, Portugal-Morocco

Cristiano Ronaldo’s amazing 88th minute free kick finished his hat trick and answered Nacho Fernandez’s magical second-half goal in a 3-3 draw between Spain and Portugal on Friday.

It was a match befitting the hype as the World Cup began for both sides in Sochi, with Ronaldo’s first two goals canceled out by the same from Diego Costa.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Portugal earned a penalty inside the first three minutes when Ronaldo dragged his leg to catch Nacho Fernandez inside the 18, and the megastar’s picture perfect PK got David De Gea going the wrong way for a 1-0 lead.

A counter attack gave Portugal a prime chance for 2-0, with Bernardo Silva carving a ball around the Spanish defense and Ronaldo playing one touch for Goncalo Guedes, only to see the youngster take a superfluous touch.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

Costa made it 1-1, bodying off Pepe and then cooking his mark wth a pair of cuts before belting a low shot beyond the reach of Rui Patricio.

Andres Iniesta dragged a low shot just beyond the far post, the ball crawling by the mark.

Ronaldo grabbed his second in the 44th minute, this one a howler from David De Gea.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

After Costa made it 2-2, Fernandez somehow combined power and touch with an otherworldly strike to give Spain its first lead.

I mean, really man…

Few words needed for what happened next:

VIDEO: De Gea makes huge mistake to let Ronaldo score

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This is a collectors item: a horrendous mistake from David De Gea.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper made a huge error right before half time to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to score his and Portugal’s second goal of the game as they led Spain 2-1 at the break.

Click play on the video below to see DDG with a horrible moment.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

PST’s Top Ten Premier League defenders and goalkeepers

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ProSoccerTalk quizzed its staff on the best players of the 2017-18 Premier League season, broken up into eight categories.

Goalkeepers, left backs, center backs, right backs, center mids, attacking mids, wingers, and center forwards/strikers were slotted 1-10 (with wing backs lumped in with the fullbacks).

[ MORE: The Premier League season in statistics ]

In this first of two posts, we handle the goalkeepers and backs. First-place votes are in parenthesis.

Goalkeeper

10. Mat Ryan, Brighton and Hove Albion

9. Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City

8. Martin Dubravka, Newcastle United

7. Jack Butland, Stoke City

6. Jordan Pickford, Everton

5. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur

4. Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea

3. Nick Pope, Burnley

2. Ederson, Manchester City (1)

  1. David De Gea, Manchester United (3)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Left backs/left wing backs

10. Patrick Van Aanholt, Crystal Palace

9. Charlie Daniels, Bournemouth

8. Leighton Baines, Everton

7. Ryan Bertrand, Southampton

6. Nacho Monreal, Arsenal

5. Andy Robertson, Liverpool

4. Fabian Delph, Manchester City

3. Ben Davies, Tottenham Hotspur

2. Marcos Alonso, Chelsea (2)

  1. Ashley Young, Manchester United (2)
(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Right backs / right wing backs

10. Seamus Coleman, Everton

9. DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle United

8. Hector Bellerin, Arsenal

7. Matthew Lowton, Burnley

6. Cedric Soares, Southampton

5. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

4. Victor Moses, Chelsea

3. Kieran Trippier, Tottenham Hotspur

2. Antonio Valencia, Manchester United (1)

  1. Kyle Walker, Manchester City (3)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Center backs

10. Jamaal Lascelles, Newcastle United

9. Vincent Kompany, Manchester City

8. Lewis Dunk, Brighton and Hove Albion

7. Harry Maguire, Leicester City

6. Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham Hotspur

5. Nicolas Otamendi, Manchester City

4. Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea

3. Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool

2. James Tarkowski, Burnley

  1. Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham Hotspur (4)

Brighton safe after upset of Man Utd

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  • Gulls insure PL status
  • GDS defies Rojo clearing attempt
  • Gross scores 7th of season

Pascal Gross‘ 57th minute goal was enough to lead Chris Hughton‘s Brighton and Hove Albion past lackluster Manchester United 1-0 at the Amex Stadium on Friday.

The win boosts the Gulls to 40 points, good for 11th place in the Premier League. United stays second with 77 points,

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Marouane Fellaini looked to have a near trademark goal in the third minute, but he was offside and the linesman didn’t miss the call.

United should’ve went ahead in the 26th minute, but Marcus Rashford waited ages to find an unmarked-at-the-spot Anthony Martial before popping a meek shot wide. Martial was right to feel aggrieved.

Brighton wasn’t without its chances, and David De Gea made a terrific stop on Glenn Murray during the first 45.

All-in-all, Brighton out shot United 8-4 in the half. The Red Devils failed to muster a shot on target.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It was Brighton who’d go ahead via Goal Decision System, as Marcos Rojo appeared to make a goal line clearance on Gross’ header only to be defied by the slimmest of margins.

Gross gave a chance to United when he pulled back Juan Mata on the edge of the 18, but the Spaniard overcooked his effort.

United’s efforts continued to miss the frame or bounce to a well-positioned Mat Ryan as the match reached its final 15 minutes.

PL Preview: Bournemouth vs. Man Utd

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  • Man Utd won 1-0 at Old Trafford on Dec. 13
  • United 5-0 after losses this season
  • Man Utd leads all-time 8W-3D-2L

Manchester United looks to get off the mat after a stunning home loss to West Bromwich Albion at the weekend when it visits Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday (Watch live at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Manchester United rebounded from its previous five losses by a combine score of 10-2.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

This is United’s match-in-hand on chasers Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. The Red Devils’ 71 points betters Liverpool by one and Spurs by three.

Bournemouth would like to finish top half, and enters the day three points back of 10th place Newcastle United despite playing one more match.

What they’re saying

Bournemouth’s Simon Francis on the club mindset“We are in our third season in the Premier League and don’t go into games being too naïve any more. I think you can be a victim of that in your first season because you don’t know what to expect at times.”

Manchester United’s David De Gea on rebounding from WBA loss“It was a tough one to take. It was a real blow and we’re all a bit down. It was such an unexpected defeat. But the good thing is we have got a game coming right up on the back of this defeat. It’s a real chance to lift ourselves and get back to winning ways.”

Prediction

A Red Devils rebound, though a second-tier team just gets over the line in a 2-1 win.