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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

World Cup 2018 live blog Day 2 as it happened: Cristiano Ronaldo hits a hat-trick as Portugal draw 3-3 with Spain

Iran and Uruguay are the respective winners over Morocco and Egypt in Friday's early games

12.50am - Hard act to follow

Right, we are wrapping up this evening's/morning's proceedings. A cracking match between Portugal and Spain has lit up this World Cup.

On Saturday it is the task of France v Australia (2pm), Argentina v Iceland (5pm), Denmark v Peru (8pm) and Croatia v Nigeria (11pm) to match that.

Four games. In a day. What a feast of football.

Join us for all the goals and drama.

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12.00am - Honours end even

So, it ends 3-3 on the night between Spain and Portugal. A great game and one that will be remembered for Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick.

It is actually a good result for Morocco too. Their defeat too Iran is not quite so devastating as they know if they can beat either Spain or Portugal in those remaining two games they still have a shot at the last 16.

On the basis of tonight, however, doing that will be easier said than done.

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11.45pm - Hat-trick from Ronaldo

Hat-trick at a World Cup. That is another one off the bucket list for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Real Madrid forward may well have just earned Portugal a share of the spoils as he curls a free-kick past a stranded David de Gea to make it 3-3.

Spain have been the better side but Ronaldo has been, well Ronaldo.

11.25pm - Spain lead

Wow. This Spain side are going to be a lot of fun at this World Cup.

They were trailing but are now 3-2 to the good.

Firstly Diego Costa stabs home from close range from a knockdown header from Sergio Busquets.

But then Spain take the lead with a stunning side as Nacho's shot from outside the box, after Portugal only partially clear a ball in the box, finds the net via a post.

Great stuff.

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10.50pm - Ronaldo scores his second

Half time and out of nowhere Portugal are back in front.

Right before the interval and Cristiano Ronaldo's shot slips through the hands of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and into the back of the net.

Harsh on Spain, who had fought back from going behind early on to Ronaldo's penalty to level through Diego Costa.

A very surprising error by De Gea and it will be important that his teammates get behind him to rally his spirits after that mistake.

Portugal lead, but if Spain can match that display from the first half after the restart then they are still in with a very good chance of getting something out of this Group B clash.

10.30pm - Spain hit back through Costa

Spain have responded very well to going behind.

After having the better of the play since Cristiano Ronaldo's opener, they level through Diego Costa, who shows great strength and poise on the edge of the area to fire home.

Spain then almost take the lead straight after as Isco hits the underside of the bar with a shot but the ball does not fully cross the line.

Game on!

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10.05pm - Instant impact from Ronaldo

Well, that did not take long did it!

Cristiano Ronaldo wins a penalty in the second minute as he clipped in the box.

He sends David de Gea the wrong way with spot-kick and it is 1-0 to Portugal.

What have the 2010 world champions got in response? It should be an interesting evening.

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9.30pm - Ronaldo's time to shine?

Spain v Portugal is on at 10pm. A lot of focus understandably this week has been on Spain's managerial drama.

But, for Cristiano Ronaldo, at the age of 33, this may be his last chance to win the World Cup.

Portugal are European champions but a run to the semi-finals in 2006 is as good as things have been for Ronaldo during his playing career.

Ahead of the game, Andy Mitten looks at whether the Real Madrid man can lead his side to a historic success. The story is here.

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9.10pm - Own goal sinks Morocco

If you thought Egypt had suffered late heartbreak, well Morocco have surpassed it.

Deep in stoppage time and set for a goalless draw with Iran, Aziz Bouhaddouz has headed a free-kick into his own net to gift the victory to the Iranians.

With Spain and Portugal the other sides in Group B the chances of Morocco progressing to the knockout stages seem to be all but over.

A cruel blow for the Moroccans, who had been excellent for much of the first half but lacked composure in front of goal.

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8.45pm - Salah boost

Egypt have been given a lift following their last-gasp loss to Uruguay earlier in the day.

Mohamed Salah was not risked in the match, a spectator throughout. The Liverpool forward had been reported to have recovered from a shoulder injury but manager Hector Cuper chose not to risk him.

But Cuper said Salah will be "fine" for Tuesday's game with Russia, a game that if Egypt lost would almost certainly condemn them to elimination from the group stages.

Full story here.

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7.55pm - No goals at half time

It is a stalemate at half time between Morocco and Iran, although it has been a lot of fun with both goalkeepers made to work hard to keep things scoreless.

Morocco had the best of the opening half hour but the Iranians were improving as the game wore on.

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7.35pm - Morocco frustrated

Still goalless in St Petersburg. Not sure how to be honest as Morocco have come agonisingly close on three occasions and the Iran goal is still somehow intact.

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6.50pm - Eyes now on Morocco v Iran

So, after the heartbreak for Egypt can Morocco give African football fans something to smile about?

It is Morocco's first appearance at a World Cup in 20 years and given the other two teams in Group B are Spain and Portugal, this is realistically a must-win for both sides in this clash in St Petersburg.

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6pm - Full time: Egypt 0 Uruguay 1

Jose Gimenez's goal proves enough to sink Egypt and give the South Americans a winning start to Group A.

Some fine saves from Mohamed El-Shenawy kept Egypt in the game, but ultimately Uruguay were worth the three points despite their star strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani not being at their best.

The pressure is now on Egypt, who face Russia next on Wednesday. With Russia having won their first game 5-0 against Saudi Arabia, Egypt must win to keep their qualification hopes in their own hands.

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5.50pm - Goal for Uruguay

Heartbreak for Egypt but it has been coming. Moments after Edinson Cavani struck the post with a free kick, the Uruguayans make the breakthough as Jose Gimenez heads home from a free-kick.

Egypt have five minutes of stoppage time to try and salvage a point.

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5.45pm - No Salah for Egypt

Egypt have made all three substitutions and Mohamed Salah has not been any of them so he will not be playing a part in proceedings now.

Five minutes remaining and Uruguay are pushing for a winner. Goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shenawy just made a superb save to tip away Edinson Cavani's fierce drive.

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5.30pm - Still goalless

We are nearing the 20 minutes to go marker and it is still 0-0 between Egypt and Uruguay.

Both sides are looking tired and much of the Egyptian crowd are hankering for Mohamed Salah to come oft the bench to inspire his teammates to get a late winner.

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4.45pm - Goalless at half time

Not the most lively 45 minutes of football this World Cup is likely to see over the next four weeks.

Neither side has really good going, but Egypt will be likely the more content of the two sides given Luis Suarez spurning a great chance, while Edinson Cavani has looked lively.

The interesting thing now will be how long Hector Cuper waits in the second half to bring on Mohamed Salah if it remains goalless.

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4.30pm - Suarez misses great chance

Still 0-0 in the Group A clash between Uruguay and Egypt, though it really should not be.

Luis Suarez somehow hit the side netting from close range with the goal at his mercy.

The National's John McAuley is watching the game at a fan park in Moscow and the Egypt fans are enjoying what they are watching.

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4.05pm - Egypt v Uruguay has started

Egypt's first World Cup game for 28 years is underway. We are three minutes into proceedings and it is goalless between them and Uruguay in the second Group A game.

Remember Russia won yesterday's opening game against Saudi Arabia 5-0.

Updates as we go along.

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3.30pm - Train travails

Gary Meenaghan is in St Petersburg for The National this evening to watch the Group B game between Morocco and Iran.

Getting there proved harder then expected as he recounts on social media.

3.05pm - Messi and Argentina train

It is 32 years since Argentina last won the World Cup. It is the one major trophy still missing from Lionel Messi's trophy cabinet.

Messi and his teammates have just completed their final training session before Saturday's opening Group D fixture against Iceland.

The South Americans are looking to go one better after losing the 2014 final to Germany, and their Barcelona forward will again be crucial to their hopes.

A gallery of Messi and his teammates in action is below.

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2.40pm - Salah on bench for Egypt

No Mohamed Salah in Egypt's starting line-up for the game with Uruguay. Hector Cuper's named his side and the Liverpool man, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury, will be a substitute.

Given the Egyptians have two more games after this, with Russia and Saudi Arabia to come, this feels like the cautious, but arguably sensible, move.

The game kicks off at 4pm UAE time.

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2pm - Rashford boosts England

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has trained with England for the first time since arriving in Russia.

The 20 year old has been struggling with a knee complaint but he was a full participant in training on Friday as Gareth Southgate's squad prepare for Monday's opening game with Tunisia.

Check out a gallery of England's training session below.

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1.40pm - '5 per cent' effort from Saudi Arabia

The recriminations are already beginning into Saudi Arabia's 5-0 loss to Russia in the opening game of the World Cup in Moscow.

Turki Al Sheikh, the head of Saudi Arabia’s sports authority, has been highly critical of Juan Antonio Pizzi's side. He accused the players on social media of giving only "5 per cent" effort in the country's first appearance at a World Cup since 2006.

Read our story here.

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12.40pm - Iceland ready for Messi

The delight of the World Cup is you wait what seems an age for things to begin and then once they do it is a case of games galore.

There are three on Friday and then another three on Saturday. What will be special on Saturday will be it is Iceland's first game at a World Cup and they go up against two-time world champions Argentina in Group D.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson, the Burnley midfielder, talked to Richard Jolly about his country's rise to qualifying for major football tournaments. He spoke about the prospect of facing Lionel Messi and how that will not faze him or his teammates, given they dealt well with Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal in their opening game at Euro 2016.

“The first game in the Euros, we played [Cristiano] Ronaldo, this time it’s going to be [Lionel] Messi,” Gudmundsson said.

“We kept Ronaldo quite quiet so hopefully we can do the same against Messi.” The gameplan, he guessed, would be to “probably have a few players run after him the whole game, just mark this guy”.

The full story by Richard Jolly can be read here.

Iceland's midfielder Johann Gudmundsson. Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP
Iceland's midfielder Johann Gudmundsson. Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP

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11.10am - Focus on Suarez

Uruguay will look to Barcelona's Luis Suarez for inspiration in Russia.

It would not be unfair to say the striker has something of a dark history at the World Cup.

Sent home by Fifa in disgrace in 2014 for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini, this came after in 2010 he had been red carded for the hand-ball on the goalline against Ghana, an incident that kept his side in the tournament but highlighted his ruthless nature.

Ian Hawkey has analysed what we can expect from the former Liverpool man this time around and whether he has matured as teammates past and present insist he has. The story can be found here.

Uruguay's Luis Suarez faces Egypt on Friday. Roman Pilipey / EPA
Uruguay's Luis Suarez faces Egypt on Friday. Roman Pilipey / EPA

10.30am - Egypt's wait almost over

You have to back to June 21 1990, in Cagliari, Italy, for the last time that Egypt played at a World Cup.

That night they lost 1-0 to an England side including Paul Gascoigne, Gary Lineker and John Barnes.

The wait ends at 4pm UAE time on Friday in Yekaterinburg as they take on Uruguay.

Ahead of the game, John McAuley spoke to Ahmed Elmohamady, the Aston Villa defender, to find out what it means to him and his teammates to be representing Egypt at a World Cup. You can read the interview here.

Ahmed Elmohamady and Egypt are in action at the World Cup against Uruguay on Friday. Robert Hradil / Getty Images
Ahmed Elmohamady and Egypt are in action at the World Cup against Uruguay on Friday. Robert Hradil / Getty Images

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9.30am - Day 2 is here

Good morning. World Cup 2018 is a go and it was certainly worth the wait for Russia as the hosts beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game on Thursday in Moscow.

Our man John McAuley was there and this was his report from the action as Saudi's hopes of reaching the knockout stages received a severe blow.

Today action starts with the second Group A game as Egypt make their first appearance in a World Cup finals game for 28 years as they face Uruguay.

The big talking point is whether Mohamed Salah will play or not. All signs on Thursday were that the Liverpool man will feature, with manager Hector Cuper very confident.

The other games of the day are in Group B, with Morocco v Iran at 7pm and Spain v Portugal at 10pm.

Stay here for all the action and news throughout the day.

Mohamed Salah, centre, and Egypt go up against Uruguay on Friday. Roman Pilipey / EPA
Mohamed Salah, centre, and Egypt go up against Uruguay on Friday. Roman Pilipey / EPA

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