The Portuguese were on fire tonight against Switzerland. The men of Fernando Santos have laminated La Nati 6 goals to one, thanks to an amazing Gonçalo Ramos. The young Benfica striker scored a hat-trick in front of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was left on the bench until the 73rd minute.
Against Switzerland and with Ronaldo on the bench in the round of 16 of the World Cup, Portugal played its best game since the beginning of the competition.
For the first time since 2006, the ex-Manchester United player was a substitute at the kick-off of a Portugal match in the international finals, ending his long series of starts.
Murat Yakin's men were helpless against the powerful Seleção das Quinas, who were merciless on the pitch at the Lusail Stadium. The game was dominated by the Portuguese from the very first minute. Benfica striker Gonçalo Ramos opened the score (17th) with a powerful shot in the top corner. He became the second youngest scorer in the history of Portugal at the World Cup at 21 years and five months, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (21 years 4 months). Despite a good start, Switzerland was almost not dangerous in the first half, except for a long free kick from Xherdan Shaqiri (30th).
Pepe, captain of the Seleçao, scored a sublime header from a Bruno Fernandes corner from the right to the left, becoming the oldest player to score in the knockout phase of a World Cup. Thanks to his two goals, the Portuguese reached the locker room at the break, leading 2-0.
The Swiss' ordeal continued when the game resumed. Just six minutes after the restart, the young Ramos took advantage of a cross from Diogo Dalot to get a magnificent double (3-0). He will be imitated by Raphaël Guerreiro at the 55th minute of the game (4-0). In this great domination of Fernando Santos' men, Manuel Akandji managed to reduce the score (57th) by taking advantage of a corner from the right to the left (4-1).
However, Gonçalo Ramos dashed La Nati's hopes of a comeback when he effortlessly scored his third goal of the night (5-1) on an assist from Joao Felix (67th). The absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, who entered the game in the 74th minute, was not felt at all on the pitch. The Portuguese seemed even more comfortable with the Benfica player. The Portuguese coach was right in favoring the young Ramos instead of the legend Ronaldo.
🇵🇹 Premier triplé du Mondial pour Ramos qui, en une titularisation, rejoint la meute des joueurs à trois buts (ils sont neuf désormais) à deux longueurs de Mbappé, en tête du classement avec cinq réalisations. https://t.co/V6R6blVaDZ
— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) December 6, 2022
In the 90th minute, AC Milan striker Raphael Leao added to the score. The match ended with an impressive 6-1 victory for Portugal over the Swiss.
Since their defeat against Germany (0-4) in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Portuguese have scored in each of their last 10 World Cup finals matches. They will face Morocco in the quarterfinals next Saturday at 15:00 GMT.