Goncalo Ramos nets hat trick as Portugal routs Switzerland to reach World Cup quarterfinals

In Cristiano Ronaldo’s place, Goncalo Ramos scored three goals as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday to advance quickly to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Following an argument in their most recent game, head coach Fernando Santos bravely decided to bench Ronaldo, but Portugal proved to be prolific without him, setting up a quarterfinal match with Morocco on Saturday.

Ramos, a veteran defender, scored the game’s first goal at the Lusail stadium at the age of 21, making his first start for his country. Pepe, a 39-year-old, then set a World Cup knockout record by scoring with a powerful header.

For his second goal, Ramos connected with a low cross from defender Diogo Dalot and tapped it in between Sommer’s legs to open the second half. After a well-executed team move, Raphael Guerreiro added a fourth goal with a strong strike.

On 58 minutes, Manuel Akanji found space at the back post from a corner and easily nodded in to give Switzerland a lead again. However, the goal did not inspire a comeback, as Ramos added a third goal with a skillful chip over Sommer to become the youngest male player to score a hat trick in a World Cup knockout game since Brazilian legend Pele in 1958.

Ronaldo was brought off the bench at 72 minutes and had a goal ruled out for offside, but Portugal still had time to net their sixth and final goal with a superb strike from substitute Rafael Leao in added time.

Portugal had lost in the group stage (Brazil 2014) and the round of 16 (South Africa 2010 and Russia 2018) since the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This was their first knockout victory since then.

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