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World Cup 2018 Group Tables: Updated Standings After Friday's Matches

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2018

Spain's forward Diego Costa (2L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group B football match between Portugal and Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on June 15, 2018. (Photo by Nelson Almeida / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NELSON ALMEIDA/Getty Images

Portugal and Spain shared six goals and a point apiece after a thrilling 3-3 draw at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Friday. Cristiano Ronaldo scored three times, while Diego Costa bagged a brace at Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Earlier, Uruguay and Iran both scraped to 1-0 wins after late goals against Egypt and Uruguay, respectively. Jose Gimenez won it for Uruguay in Group A with a powerful header a minute from time, while Iran beat Morocco after an Aziz Bouhaddouz own goal in the 95th minute.

It meant Iran won their first World Cup match in 20 years and are the unlikely nation to top Group B after the first slate of games.

Here are the standings after Friday's matches (games played, wins, goal difference, points):

Group A

1. Russia: 1, 1, +5, 3

2. Uruguay: 1, 1, +1, 3

3. Egypt: 1, 0, -1, 0

4. Saudi Arabia: 1, 0, -5, 0

Group B

1. Iran: 1, 1, +1, 3

2. Portugal: 1, 0, 0, 1

3. Spain: 1, 0, 0, 1

4. Morocco: 1, 0, -1, 0

Full standings available on FIFA.com.

        

History-Making Ronaldo Ready to Finally Boss a World Cup

While he's been beyond prolific, Ronaldo hasn't always lit up a World Cup. That pattern looks set to change, though, after the 33-year-old's stunning hat-trick against the 2010 winners.

Ronaldo's first came from the penalty spot after he'd drawn a foul against Real Madrid team-mate Nacho. Dispatching the ball from 12 yards put Portugal's talisman in some select company in World Cup history:

FourFourTwo ⚽️ @FourFourTwo

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the 4th player to score in 4️⃣ World Cup tournaments. Joins Pele, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose. Decent company #WorldCup #PORESP

His second had more than a touch of fortune to it after Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea inexplicably spilled a shot into his own net.

However, Ronaldo merited the luck on a night all about making history for the still-lethal forward:

#WorldCup 🏆 @TheSporTalk

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first player in history to score in eight consecutive major tournaments. 2004: Euros 2006: World Cup 2008: Euros 2010: World Cup 2012: Euros 2014: World Cup 2016: Euros 2018: World Cup 🔥🔥🔥 #WorldCup #POR #PORESP #WorldCupRussia2018 #Cristiano https://t.co/ruAv4jTHr2

There was no luck about his magnificent free-kick to earn Portugal a point late on.

Ronaldo's next task will be to carry this form into Portugal's next match, a meeting with defensively strong Iran.

        

Uruguay Unconvincing Despite Winning Start

The day began with Uruguay pulling off a late yet unconvincing win over Egypt. Uruguay's lone goal came a minute from time when Atletico Madrid centre-back Gimenez headed in.

His emphatic finish was enough to see La Celeste past Egypt in what was a dour match at the Ekaterinburg Arena. The Pharaohs lacked impetus in the forward areas while Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah remained on the bench with an injury.

However, it was Uruguay who disappointed most in attacking areas. Coach Oscar Tabarez's players were let down by some wayward finishing from the usually reliable Luis Suarez.

Try as he might, the Barcelona ace couldn't find his shooting range:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Luis Suarez attempted as many shots (4) as the entire Egyptian team combined in the opening 55' minutes: 14': ❌ Off-target 23': ❌ Off-target 32': 🚫 Blocked 46': 🎯 On-target Not his day in front of goal. https://t.co/EIcwlIqW2x

Strike partner Edinson Cavani looked sharp late on but lacked consistent service thanks to Uruguay's sluggish build-up in midfield.

Despite their issues, Uruguay deserve credit for achieving a rarity in their World Cup history:

FIFA World Cup 🏆 @FIFAWorldCup

STATS // #EGYURU Today was @Uruguay's first winning start to a #WorldCup campaign since 1970. 🇺🇾🇺🇾🇺🇾 https://t.co/OglqAHQmKI

Three points is an excellent start, but there is no doubt Suarez and Co. will have to play a lot better if they hope to go deep into the tournament.

       

Iran Deserved Late Winner

It took 95 minutes to get a goal, and even then they needed the help of a Morocco player to find the net. Even so, Iran deserved the luck in their 1-0 win, just the nation's second victory at a World Cup.

Coached well by former Manchester United assistant Carlos Queiroz, Iran defended brilliantly from the start at Saint Petersburg Stadium. They were organised, brave and determined in the face of plenty of early pressure from Morocco.

The resolute display was reminiscent of how Iran kept a World Cup-record 12 clean sheets during qualifying. More than just their compact discipline at the back, Iran were also willing and energetic enough to pose a threat on the break.

More than once, Queiroz's men countered with pace and precision. Had Sardar Azmoun made the most of a glorious one-on-one just before the end of the first half, Iran wouldn't have had to wait so long to take the lead.

Ultimately, the goal marked a moment of competition history when it came:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Iran are the first team to score a goal in a #WorldCup half of football without attempting a single shot in that 45 minutes since 1966 😳 https://t.co/oPMJHQAxQ2 https://t.co/OPGkm6uSus

They may not make it out of a daunting Group B, but Iran have already served notice they are here to do much more than merely make up the numbers.

Attention will now turn to Groups C and D as tournament contenders France and Argentina are among those in action on Saturday.

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