Portugal thrash Switzerland 6-1 to set up QF clash with Morocco

Portugal didn’t miss benched Cristiano Ronaldo as they blasted past a Swiss team stuck in neutral.

Goncalo Ramos scored three goals as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6–1 to set up a quarter-final against Morocco at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Ramos, on the pitch in place of Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, delivered an age-old hat-trick at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Wednesday night as the veterans of Portuguese football passed the baton to a younger generation.

Veteran Pepe, who wore the captain’s armband in Ronaldo’s absence, added to Ramos’ opener in the first half.

Ramos scored his second early in the second half. Raphael Guerreiro added a fourth before the hour mark as Portugal started scoring for fun. Then came third for Ramos, as the 21-year-old became the first player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup knockout stages since 1990.

There was a balance in this Portuguese team without the overbearing presence of their talisman captain, who was sacked after reacting angrily to his substitution against South Korea in the group stage.

Football is a team game and the Portuguese team have all put in their efforts to fill the Ronaldo-sized void.

Switzerland’s Manuel Akanji turned the ball in at the far post in the 56th minute for a beautifully weighted cross for a consolation goal – but it failed to herald a turn in the game’s tide.

Joao Felix made way for Ronaldo in the 72nd minute to win his 195th international match for Portugal. A spectacular attempt by the experienced striker in the 82nd minute was ruled out as offside.

Rafael Leao, 23, provided a stunning 91st-minute finish to see Portugal face Morocco in the quarter-finals on Saturday afternoon, before England take on France.

More to follow…

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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