World Cup Day 2: What you need to know — Spain and Portugal lives up to the hype


Couldn't take in all the action from Russia today? BSJ soccer scribe Sean Sweeney has you covered. Everything you need to know in quickie form.


That wasn't the Final? Good lord: With all the quality between these two European sides -- the last two European champions, I might add -- it certainly felt like this Group B tilt was a potential preview of the Final in 30 days time. Six goals, three by Cristiano Ronaldo, gives Portugal a point against Spain in a 3-3 draw in Sochi. CR7 opened the scoring on a penalty before Spain's Diego Costa had the match's first equalizer, and that goal was a beauty and the textbook definition of staying with it. Ronaldo gave Portugal the lead right before the half on a 19-yarder that Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could not corral, before Spain took control with two goals (Costa and Nacho) early in the second half. And while it looked like the 2010 World Champions would hold on, Ronaldo had de Gea frozen on a late free kick to wrap up the scoring.

Best player in the world? Oh, yeah.

Heartbreak for Egypt: Playing without Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, you have to tip your hat to the Pharoahs for how they remained composed and organized against a vicious Uruguay side, which eventually beat Egypt, 1-nil, in Friday's opener. Egypt would play some pretty darn good defense throughout -- it didn't help the Celestes that Luis Suarez missed three gilt-edged chances to score goals -- and even got one of the best saves on the planet out of Mohamed El-Shenawy to deny Edinson Cavani the goal in the 83rd minute. But Uruguay wins it on Jose Gimenez's 89th-minute header off a free kick out on the flank.

Suarez missed an absolute sitter: One of the best opportunities for Suarez came early, as he looked to score off a corner at the far post. It appeared he had scored as El-Shenaway had no chance of stopping it, but instead he had dumped it into the side netting. You'd have to think that another Uruguayan -- maybe a certain one playing in Foxborough? -- would have buried that.

Morocco-Iran = dumpster fire: Not a great advert for the sport when it comes to technical quality in this match, which ended 1-nil to Iran. Starting with a wide-open whiff on a Morocco corner three minutes in, the poorer than poor play would last for most of the 90 minutes. While the Moroccans had early pressure but just couldn't finish, Iran had counterattacks that eventually fizzled out; the Iranians also had one of the worst giveaways right before the half that led to the first shot on target for the match. But in second-half stoppage time, Morocco scored an own goal to give Iran the three points, its first W on the world stage since beating the US in France '98. If you DVRed this one and just got home, just delete it. You'll thank me later.

The vuvuzela is back: Introduced to the world during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the plastic horn that makes a harsh sound -- more like a horde of angry bees -- droned on during the Morocco-Iran match Friday. The bad news? You're more than likely going to hear it four more times during this World Cup. The good news? You won't hear it more than four more times during this World Cup.


Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Without a doubt, today's honor goes to CR7. Goals on a penalty, from the run of play, and a free kick gives the Real Madrid star another hat trick.

Also in the running: Diego Costa (two goals), Nacho (goal, assist, big game-saving stop), and Mohamed El-Shenaway (for the big save on Cavani).


Gimenez's winner for Uruguay:

The Morocco own goal that gives three points to Iran:

CR7's second goal, the howler by David de Gea:

And his third:

An unbelievable strike from distance by Spain's Nacho:


Four World Cup matches from breakfast to the dinner hour? Yes, please! I'm looking for Lionel Messi to score one, maybe two, for Argentina against Iceland in these two sides first-ever meeting; France to blast Australia while we have coffee; Peru's return for the first World Cup since Spain '82; and for the Super Eagles of Nigeria to have a day against Croatia. By 5 p.m., we'll be halfway through the first go-around of matches.