Portugal 6 – 1 Switzerland

Portugal had no regrets about letting Cristiano Ronaldo down as substitute Goncalo Ramos netted a hat-trick in a stunning 6-1 win over Switzerland in the last 16 of the World Cup.

The fallout from Ronaldo’s reaction to his substitution in Portugal’s previous game dominated the build-up to the knockout clash and his demotion ended a 31-game run he started for his country in the finals. of the tournament.

In his absence, his compatriots turned in one of the performances of the tournament as Portugal reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 2006, where Spain’s conquerors Morocco await them.

Ramos, his replacement, was five when Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal and needed just 17 minutes to open his own account with a thunderous effort that overtook Yann Sommer before he could react .

Portugal cemented their advantage before the break when Pepe, 39, became the second-oldest goalscorer in World Cup history from a corner kick, before Ramos ended the game with a poacher’s finish at first post.

Even left-back Raphael Guerreiro came on just before the hour mark, earning an inviting assist from Ramos, before Manuel Akanji stabbed home a consolation that barely deserved celebration.

Ramos went from provider to goalscorer with the first hat-trick of this World Cup, delicately chipping away at Sommer to forcefully vindicate his manager’s faith.

Ronaldo was finally introduced to the bench soon after and although Portugal added a sixth, it was another youngster on the scoresheet rather than their senior statesman, with Rafael Leao curling up deliciously in the corner in added time.

More soon…

Sky Sports

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