After losing their last group stage match to South Korea 2-1, Portugal came back with a statement win against Switzerland in the round of 16 in Qatar. In what was Portugal’s biggest-ever victory in the knockout rounds of the World Cup, they scored six goals outside the group stages for the first time. If you want to know about Has Ronaldo been replaced in Portugal’s starting XI, click here.
Portugal has reached the World Cup’s quarter-finals for just the third time, after 2006 and 1966. In addition, they ended a run of five consecutive knockout games at the tournament without a victory.
In what saw Portugal become only the second team in the 21st Century to score six and more goals in a World Cup knockout stage match, after Germany versus Brazil in the 2014 semi-final, they demonstrated absolute dominance. While Switzerland maintained the most possession of the ball, Portugal scored six of their nine shots on target more effectively. Goncalo Ramos, who opened the scoring for the Portuguese in the 17th minute, had a hat-trick in the game.
Pepe became the second-oldest scorer in World Cup history when the 39-year-old headed one in from a corner in the 33rd minute. Roger Milla was 42 years old when he scored for Cameroon in 1994 and is the oldest to score in a knockout. In the second half, assisted by Ramos, left-back Raphael Guerreiro scored in the 55th minute.
Rafael Leão put the game away, scoring the 6th goal two minutes into stoppage time. Manuel Akanja scored the only goal for Switzerland in the 58th minute, but that was just a stain on Portugal’s history night.
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Switzerland has now failed to progress in all five of their World Cup matches in the round of 16, conceding six goals in a knockout round match at the tournament for the second time; the first time was a 7-5 loss to Austria in the quarter-final at 1954 World Cup.
In his start against Switzerland, Portugal’s Goncalo Ramos now has three goals in the Qatar World Cup. These are just two less than top scorer Kylian Mbappe. Ramos, who was five years old when Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first world cup goal, became Portugal’s second youngest goal scorer in World Cup history.
The youngest is Cristiano, who was 21 years and 132 days old when he scored his maiden goal in 2006; Ramos, also 21, is about a month older than Cristiano.
Becoming the youngest player to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup knockout match after Pele, Ramos also became the first player to score a hat-trick on his first World Cup start since Miroslav Klose in 2002.
Despite making just his 4th appearance and second start for Portugal on Tuesday, Ramos sure did come out big for his country.