Portugal hammer Switzerland in FIFA World Cup without Ronaldo

Rafael Leao and Goncalo Ramos of Portugal celebrates after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium on December 6, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.

Portugal did not miss Cristiano Ronaldo as his replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hattrick to help his side beat Switzerland 6-1 at Lusail Stadium in the pre-quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup.

Pepe, Raphaël Guerreiro and Rafael Leao joined the hattrick hero on the scoresheet with Manuel Akanji the solitary name for Switzerland.

Fernando Santos made a huge statement by dropping Ronaldo to the bench, but it paid off immediately as his 21-year-old replacement took just 17 minutes to put his side ahead, blasting a shot past Yann Sommer from a Joao Felix pass.

Pepe doubled his side’s lead in the 39th minute with a header from a corner to become the oldest scorer in a World Cup knockout game.

On the other end, Portugal’s defence kept frustrating Breel Embolo with the striker unable to find space to work while Xherdan Shaqiri’s freekick which was saved by Diogo Costa was the only threat they offered in the first half.

Ramos took just six minutes after the restart to give Portgual a two-goal cushion before Guerreiro finished off a team move to make it 4-0.

Akanji managed to cut down the lead back to three with a well-placed header but it proved to be of little worth as just minutes later Ramos completed his hattrick with a chipped finish to become the youngest hattrick scorer at the World Cups since Pele.

With the game already in the bag, Ronaldo was brought on but failed to score again before Leao completed the scoreline in the 92nd minute.

The win over Switzerland was the first round-of-16 victory for Portugal since 2006 in the FIFA World Cup.

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