FIFA WC: Ramos scores hat-trick as Portugal beat Switzerland 6-1 to qualify for quarter-finals

Goncalo Ramos (C) celebrates with teammates | AFP

Al Rayyan: Goncalo Ramos scored a hattrick as Portugal progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup after beating Switzerland 6-1 at Lusail Stadium on Wednesday. The Benfica forward scored his third goal midway through the second half, with veteran Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao also on the scoresheet.

Portugal went ahead through a sensational strike from forward Goncalo Ramos in the 17th minute, followed by Pepe increasing the lead to 2-0 in the 33rd minute through a thumping header from a corner.

In the second half, Ramos struck again in the 50th minute after Diogo Dalot sent a low cross from the left. Five minutes later, Portugal increased the lead through Raphael Guerrero from a brilliant counter-attacking football.

Switzerland scored one back through Manuel Akanji in the 57th minute from a corner. However, it was too late for the Swiss team to make a comeback against an in-form Portuguese side. Ramos completed his hat trick in the 67th minute after Felix played a simple ball into the box from the left, and Benfica forward made no mistake in chipping the ball over the charging Swiss goalkeeper.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who replaced Ramos, almost scored a goal in the final minutes of the game. However, it was Rafael Leão who found the ultimate goal of the game after he found space down the left wing, cut back and sent a ball into the bottom corner.

Portugal started the first half with high intensity despite Switzerland registering the first shot on target in the 6th minute through Breel Embolo. However, the shot got blocked by Pepe, and the ball went behind for a corner.

Portugal went a goal ahead through a sensation strike from striker Goncalo Ramos in the 17th minute. After receiving the ball from Joao Felipe inside the box, Benfica forward hit a first-time shot from a tight angle to send the ball into the back of the net.

Ramos nearly scored the second goal in the game in the 21st minute after Guerreiro made a run through the left and passed the ball to Benfica forward. However, Ramos's shot was saved by Swiss keeper Yann Sommer comfortably.

In the 30th minute, the Swiss nearly equalised after Xherdan Shaqiri struck a freekick from outside the box and Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa had to make a diving save to deny the equalising goal.

Portugal doubled their lead in the 33rd minute from a corner after Pepe produced a thumping header to send the ball back into the net. In the process, Pepe became the oldest player to score in a knockout stage.

Switzerland tried to get back in the match in the 38th minute after Fernandes sent a cross from the right. Costa punched the ball away, but it fell perfectly for Freuler, who headed it towards the goal. But, Dalot was able to clear the ball on time.

Portugal created several chances to increase the lead. However, they failed to find the goalscoring boots in the final third to finish the game off.

Goncalo Ramos struck his second goal of the match in the 51st minute after Diogo Dalot sent a beautiful low cross into the box from the right wing. In the 55th minute, Raphael Guerrero scored the fourth goal for Portugal from a brilliant counter-attacking football. Minutes later, Switzerland scored one back through Manuel Akanji from a corner.

Ramos completed his hat trick in the 67th minute after Felix played a simple ball into the box, and Ramos sprinted onto it from the right and chipped the ball over the charging Sommer.

Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix return for Portugal after they were rested in the 2-1 loss to South Korea, as does Bernardo Silva, who made a brief appearance off the bench in that game.

Joao Cancelo drops out, with Diogo Dalot keeping his spot at right-back and Raphael Guerreiro restored at left-back.

Otavio starts in midfield after recovering from an injury in Portugal's opening match.

Switzerland welcomes back goalkeeper Yann Sommer from illness, and Fabian Schaer retains his place in defence, having filled in for Nico Elvedi in the 3-2 win over Serbia.

Edmilson Fernandes comes in for the absent Silvan Widmer at right-back.

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