Goncalo Ramos scored a stunning hat-trick as a slick Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday to storm into the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 2006.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos took the brave call to bench Cristiano Ronaldo and was rewarded with an artful display from his side as they set up a last-eight clash with Morocco, who stunned Spain in a penalty shootout earlier on Tuesday. Ramos, making his first start at the World Cup, gave Portugal the lead in the 17th minute after latching onto Joao Felix’s pass and smashing the ball past Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer at his near post from an acute angle.
The 21-year-old Benfica striker scored his second, and Portugal’s third, six minutes after the break by getting onto the end of Diogo Dalot’s low cross and he completed his hat-trick in the 67th with a delicate dinked finish.
Pepe had doubled Portugal’s lead with a powerful header from a Bruno Fernandes corner after 33 minutes and Raphael Guerreiro rifled in their fourth in the 55th before Rafael Leao completed the rout in added time with a curled finish.
Here are the Portugal and Switzerland player ratings.
Diogo Costa – 6
Scrambled to get a faint touch on Shaqiri’s free-kick and did well to get a hand to Edimilson Fernandes’ threatening first-half cross. For a goalkeeper who has had his iffy moments during this tournament – most notably against Ghana – he performed well. Could do nothing for Switzerland’s goal.
Diogo Dalot – 7
Did well early on up against the tricks and turns of Ruben Vargas, cleared off the line from Remo Freuler and set up Ramos’ second goal with an excellent cross. Very impressive display.
Pepe – 7
Portugal’s defensive talisman, who turns 40 in February, thumped in a header as he jumped unobstructed to score his country’s second – and become the second-oldest scorer in World Cup history. Marshalled the defence excellently too.
Ruben Dias – 5
Got away with an early error with Breel Embolo hunting him down and, generally, was second-best up against Embolo in a rare mismatch in the Swiss’ favour on the night.
Raphael Guerreiro – 7
A surprise inclusion instead of Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo, linked up well with Joao Felix down the left flank and took his goal superbly, striking Portugal’s fourth into the roof of the net.
William Carvalho – 6
His guarding of the back four allowed his fellow midfielders and attack to flourish further on. Did the basics well and got a foot in where necessary. Just one of Fernando Santos’ spot-on selection calls.
Otavio – 7
A busy bee in the centre of the park for Portugal, a delicious back-heel started the move for Portugal’s fourth and he was neat and tidy throughout.
Joao Felix – 8
Whipped in an excellent ball which almost brought Portugal a second goal and had the upper hand all night over Swiss right back Fernandes. Had a moment of solo genius just before half-time as he glided almost effortlessly away from any white shirt and set up Ramos’ third too. Only thing missing from his game was a goal.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Made an impact from the off with his incisive passing and clever movement, linking up seamlessly with those in claret and green. Goes under the radar how vital he is for this team.
Bruno Fernandes – 7
Was his usual hardworking self and notched a customary assist with a pinpoint corner for Pepe’s header. Workmanlike performance for – as of tonight’s – Portugal’s most important player.
Goncalo Ramos – 10
A dream of an evening for the 21-year-old. The big shock selection – instead of you know who – it could be argued that the Benfica forward indeed justified his inclusion. And how. Fired Portugal in front after 17 minutes with a thunderous left-foot effort into the roof of the net, before notching his second with a poke through Sommer’s legs five minutes after half-time. Icing on the cake was a beautiful little clip over Sommer for his hat-trick, the first of the tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 6
Cap No 195 won’t be a memorable one for the dropped captain. Food for his thoughts as he saw his replacement Ramos steal the show with the first hat-trick of the 2022 World Cup. On the pitch, he smashed a free-kick into the walla and finished well when through on goal – but was clearly offside.
Vitinha – 6
Uninfluential when he came on, as Portugal saw out the game comfortably.
Ricardo Horta – 6
See Vitinha’s description.
Ruben Neves – N/A
Rafael Leao – 7
Scored an outstanding goal in stoppage-time, curling beautifully beyond a helpless Sommer. A sign he could be vital from the bench in the days ahead.
Yann Sommer – 5
Beaten at his near post for Ramos’ goal, but hard to attach much blame to Switzerland’s No 1 for any of Portugal’s six goals. Could do nothing with Pepe’s header and did excellently to save from Ramos to avoid a three-goal deficit at half-time.
Edimilson Fernandes – 3
The ex-West Ham man looked lost at sea early on with Bernardo Silva and Joao Felix running rings round him and was dominated on the floor and aerially. He was nowhere as his side of the pitch was exposed for Portugal’s fourth.
Fabian Schar – 4
Could he have done slightly better in denying Ramos a shot on goal early on? Perhaps. Went down around 10 minutes later and – having missed a few days of training this week due to feeling unwell – was substituted at half-time. Also picked up a booking.
Manuel Akanji – 6
Scored the consolation from close-range and, as it happens, wasn’t culpable for any of Portugal’s goals.
Ricardo Rodriguez – 6
Denied a certain Portuguese goal in the 16th minute as he intercepted a dangerous ball across the box and was one Swiss player to come out of this evening with any credit.
Remo Freuler – 5
Had his country’s best chance after 38 minutes with a header which was cleared off the line from Diogo Dalot and, alongside Xhaka, simply was no match for Portuguese’s midfield. Hooked after 53 minutes.
Granit Xhaka – 5
Tried his very best to kick Switzerland’s attack into gear at times but was simply overrun by Portuguese’s manic midfield. Could generate nowhere near his man-of-the-match display against France in the last-16 of last summer’s European Championships.
Djibril Sow – 3
Anonymous. Completely anonymous.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 5
Went close with a speculative free-kick on the 30 minute mark but, overall, the ex-Liverpool and Stoke winger had a night to forget summed up by a long-range effort which almost went out for a throw.
Ruben Vargas – 4
Showed a glimpse or two of his quality up against Dalot but generally came out second best against the Manchester United right back. Too easily beaten by Dalot for Portuguese’s third goal and was hauled off on 65 minutes.
Breel Embolo – 6
Desperate to add to his two goals so far in the tournament, Swiss’ star striker started brightly and did terrifically to spin away from Ruben Dias after half-an-hour. Didn’t stop running despite his team being run ragged.
Eray Comert – 4
Replaced Fabian Schar in defence at half-time and lost Ramos in the box after just five minutes for Portugal’s third. Booked for an arm to the neck of Bruno Fernandes and did nothing to quell the Portuguese onslaught.
Denis Zakaria – 6
Was combative when he came on and had a shot on the edge of the box well-blocked by Pepe.
Haris Seferovic – 5
Barely had a touch after his 54th minute introduction.
Noah Okafor – N/A
Ardon Jashari – N/A
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