FIFA World Cup 2022 Portugal vs Switzerland: Portugal defeated Switzerland 6-1 to go to the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar in 2022, where they will face Morocco thanks to three goals from Goncalo Ramos.
On Wednesday night at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Ramos, who had taken Cristiano Ronaldo’s position on the bench, produced a historic hat-trick as the elders of Portuguese football gave the ball to a newer generation.
Portugal vs Switzerland 6-1: FIFA World Cup 2022 – as it happened
In Ronaldo’s absence, veteran Pepe took the captain’s role and added to Ramos’ first-half goal.
Early in the second half, Ramos scored his second goal. Before the hour mark, Raphael Guerreiro scored a fourth as Portugal began to score often.
Then Ramos added a third goal, making him the first World Cup player since 1990 to achieve a hat trick in the knockout rounds.
Portugal had more balance without the domineering influence of their talismanic captain, who was benched after he reacted violently to being replaced by South Korea in the group stages.
The Portuguese squad came together to fill the Ronaldo-sized gap because football is a team sport.
Head coach Fernando Santos omitted Ruben Neves and Joao Cancelo from the starting lineup, making his decision even more significant.
Twenty-one-year-old Ronaldo made his Portugal debut when Ramos was only two years old.
Before today, he had only participated in fewer than 35 minutes of international competition after making his debut last month. He had never previously left for his homeland. The stakes were high. And he didn’t let me down.
Portugal engaged in a cooperative, linked play. They seemed capable of winning the competition for the first time this campaign.
In the 56th minute, Manuel Akanji of Switzerland converted a superbly weighted cross for a consolation goal, but it did not signal a change in the game’s momentum.
In the 72nd minute, Joao Felix was replaced by Ronaldo, who received a standing ovation.
This was after supporters chanted his name in this 90,000-seat stadium for 30 minutes.
In the 82nd minute, the veteran striker produced a magnificent attempt that was disallowed for offside.
The 23-year-old Rafael Leao scored a beautiful goal in the 91st minute to set up Portugal’s quarterfinal match against Morocco on Saturday before England’s match against France.
But there are still uncertainties around Ronaldo’s future. Ronaldo cut a lonesome figure at the game’s conclusion, losing his club after a stunning media backlash ended his stint at Manchester United and now having a logical successor lined up in the national side.
Ronaldo departed alone for the tunnel as the Portuguese players cheered for their supporters behind the goal.
Here’s how the FIFA World Cup 2022 looks now:
- Croatia vs Brazil (December 9)
- Netherlands vs Argentina (December 9)
- Morocco vs Portugal (December 10)
- England vs France (December 10)
Watch Highlights: Portugal vs Switzerland | FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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