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FIFAWC 2022: Ramos nets hat-trick as Portugal rout Switzerland to reach last eight

Benfica starlet stakes claim for starting shirt with dazzling performance

Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick on his full international debut as Portugal hammered Switzerland 6-1 to book a quarterfinal meeting with Morocco at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Seleçao delivered the best performance of the teams in the Round of 16 to overcome their Swiss opponents.

After winning their first two matches at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Portugal fell to a shock defeat at the hands of South Korea but qualified in first place. Switzerland finished behind Brazil in their own group after a final-day win over Serbia.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos made a huge call ahead of kick-off, leaving record goalscorer and captain Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for 21-year-old Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos. The youngster had scored on his international debut against Nigeria after coming off the bench in a 4-0 win.

Santos’ decision was justified shortly into the match as Ramos marked his full debut with a goal after only 17 minutes. The striker received a pass from Joao Felix inside the box before slamming an effort high into the net at the near post to open the scoring.

Portugal doubled their advantage in the 33rd minute as their captain on the night Pepe rose highest to power home a header following a corner kick from Bruno Fernandes, becoming the oldest player to ever score in a knockout game at the World Cup.

The Seleçao started the second half in a similar fashion as Ramos showed elite movement to breeze across the defenders and apply the finish to a low cross from Diogo Dalot in the 51st minute. Four minutes later, Ramos turned provider for left-back Raphael Guerreiro, who thumped an effort past the Swiss goalkeeper.

Switzerland pulled one back in the 58th minute as Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji reacted quickest to a flick-on following a corner kick.

Goncalo Ramos completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute after he was played in by the impressive Felix. The 21-year-old calmly dinked the ball over the onrushing Yann Sommer to become the youngest player to score a World Cup hat-trick since Pele.

With the game petering out, Portugal grabbed a sixth through substitute Rafael Leao. The AC Milan star received a pass from Guerreiro before curling in a fine effort past Sommer in the 92nd minute to round off the scoring.

Portugal will now face Morocco for a place in the last four of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with manager Santos knowing that he has unearthed another gem.


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