Hat-trick hero Ramos helps Portugal beat Switzerland 6-1 and reach quarters


Portugal’s Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in his first World Cup start to help his side demolish Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday and send them to the quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years, sparking a clash with the Morocco.

Portugal’s Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in his first World Cup start to help his side demolish Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday and send them to the quarter-finals for the first time in 16 years, sparking a clash with the Morocco.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos had benched skipper and all-time top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, tasking Benfica striker Ramos with leading the line as the 21-year-old made his debut just three days before the match. World Cup in a friendly match.

Ramos had only played 10 minutes as a substitute in Qatar, but the youngster looked like he belonged on the big stage with a memorable performance for Portugal, who didn’t miss Ronaldo – a late substitute who had a goal ruled out for offside.

“Cristiano Ronaldo speaks to me and everyone in the team. He is our leader and always tries to help,” Ramos said after scoring the tournament’s first hat-trick in Qatar.

After a lukewarm start, the game came alive when Ramos opened the scoring in the 17th minute, catching Joao Felix’s incisive pass before blasting the ball from a tight angle into the top corner to give the Portuguese the lead.

Portugal doubled their lead through skipper Pepe when the 39-year-old timed his jump to perfection to rise above the two Swiss centre-backs and head home from a Bruno Fernandes corner in the 33rd minute , with Yann Sommer still well beaten.

At the other end, Swiss striker Breel Embolo was frustrated with the Portuguese defense despite the odd surge in the final third, while their best chance of the half came when Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick struck was pushed back for a corner.

Sommer, back from illness, did well to deny Ramos his second goal of the half with a fingertip save on a counterattack as the Portuguese went in with a 2-0 lead at halftime. time.

But the beleaguered keeper could do nothing when Diogo Dalot sent in a cross six minutes into the restart with Ramos again in the right spot at the near post to slip the ball through Sommer’s legs and give Portugal a three-goal cushion.

The Portuguese piled up misery when they opened up the Swiss defense with another fluid counter-attack in which Ramos found Raphael Guerreiro in acres of space and the full-back fired the ball past Sommer to make it 4 -0 at the 55th.

Switzerland cushioned the blow just before the hour mark when defender Manuel Akanji crept unmarked at the far post from a corner to slip a shot home after Portugal failed to clear.

But the vibrant Portuguese attack roared as Ramos was tagged in on goal by Felix and, just when it looked like he had lost the ball with a heavy touch, the striker chipped it off the pressed Sommer to complete a lap of the well deserved hat. .

Once the win had been won, the crowd at Lusail Stadium begged Santos to bring in Ronaldo and reserved the loudest cheers of the night when he trotted onto the pitch in the 74th minute.

But the 37-year-old striker did little to affect the proceedings, firing a free-kick into the wall before the linesman raised his flag to deny Ronaldo his second goal of the tournament after making a running from an offside position.

Substitute Rafael Leao then put the icing on the cake in added time with a curling effort into the far corner of the net as the stranded Sommer’s shoulders sank in as he watched helplessly as the ball rolled past him in the bottom of the net.


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