Portugal thrash Switzerland 6-1 in the Round of 16 of the 2022 Qatar World Cup with Cristiano Ronaldo watching from the bench.
Portugal Head Coach Fernando Santos is a happy man, following a unified display by his players in the 2022 Qatar World Cup Round of 16 fixture against Switzerland.
21-year-old Gonçalo Ramos was Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement in the starting lineup. The young striker was under immense pressure but delivered much to the delight of Portugal fans.
In the 17th minute, Ramos gave Portugal the lead with a thunderous strike, straight into the roof of the net. Assisted by Joao Felix, Ramos scores at Swiss keeper Yann Sommer’s near post.
Gonçalo Ramos, who represents Portugal, became the second-youngest goal scorer in World Cup history at the age of 21 years and 169 days, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo (21 years and 132 days in June 2006). He also became the first player since Miroslav Klose in 2002 to score a hat-trick on his first World Cup start.
In the 33rd minute, Bruno Fernandes swung in a corner which was headed by veteran defender Pepe, who gives the ball a trademark thumping header.
Pepe is now the second-oldest World Cup goal scorer in history, trailing only Roger Milla (42y 39d for Cameroon in 1994), and the oldest player to ever score in a knockout stage of the tournament.
Switzerland’s formation change may have played a part in their loss, not taking anything away from Portugal’s performance, and the Swiss did not really click in the first half.
51 minutes played, and Ramos is back at it! The Portugal striker finishes from a low hard drilled shot by Diogo Dalot, and the dream is now a reality for the youngster.
Five minutes later Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro makes it 4-0. Ruthless to say the least, Portugal are at this point making a huge statement heading into the Quarterfinals.
Switzerland get a consolation goal through Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji. The defender meets the ball unmarked following a clearance from a corner and scores.
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67 minutes into the fixture, Gonçalo Ramos brings his dream to reality by scoring his first hat trick for Portugal. According to BBC, Ramos had only played 33 minutes of football for Portugal ahead of the match.
In the 72minute Portugal’s superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo was brought on and Pepe handed the captain’s armband over to him. Ronaldo, Vitinha, and Horta replace hat-trick hero Ramos, Otavio, and Felix.
In the 84th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo scores with a clinical finish but the goal is ruled out for offside. Clearly not his night but he must be happy he is still in the race for the World Cup.
In added time at the end of the second half, Rafael Leao shows Portugal’s vitality is in sync with their experience by cutting in off the left flank and curling the ball with great power and accuracy over Yann Sommer in the Swiss goal.
Portugal will now face Morocco on Saturday, December 10 at the Al Thumama Stadium.