Ramos scores hat-trick as Portugal hammer Switzerland to reach quarters

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DOHA: Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick and powered Portugal to hand a crushing 6-1 defeat to Switzerland in the last Round of 16 clash and set their quarter-finals clash with Morocco in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022.

Ramos justified his shock selection over star player Cristiano Ronaldo by scoring a stunning hat-trick on his full debut and played a crucial role in Portugal’s qualification into the quarter-finals.

Ramos, who started for Portugal instead of Ronaldo, took just 17 minutes to open the scoring for his side courtesy of a delicate clip from Joao Felix into the former’s feet who quickly dribbled past Fabian Schaer and fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Switzerland soon came close to firing the equalizer when Xherdan Shaqiri took a dipping free-kick from distance but Diogo Costa’s incredible safe denied the Swiss from doing so.

Pepe then struck in the 33rd minute to double Portugal’s lead when Bruno Fernandes swung in the corner and the former rose and connected the ball with a thumping header that went past Yann Sommer.

The unstoppable Portugal attack did not settle after the break as Ramos struck again from Dogo Dalot’s cross just six minutes into the second half to enhance their lead to 3-0.

He then switched roles, allowing Guerreiro to score four minutes later as the Swiss defence was relentlessly pulled apart.

Switzerland then finally found a moment to cherish in the 58th minute when Manuel Akanji pulled one back for them as he was first to a flick-on.

Akanji’s strike too, could not change the fortune of a toothless Swiss side as Ramos completed his hat-trick after superb work by Felix, elegantly dinking over Sommer with one of his final touches before making way for Ronaldo.

Ronaldo received a major uproar from the crowd at Lusail Stadium as he walked in for Ramos, the star player, however, did have the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for a clear offside.

Rafael Leao’s stunning curling strike in the stoppage turned out to be the icing on the cake for Portugal as they completed a comprehensive 6-1 victory and stormed into the last eight.

Fernando Santos’ side will now take on Morocco in the quarter-final on Saturday (December 8), who sank former champions Spain on penalties to make it to the last eight for the first time.

READ: India denies visas to Pakistan team for Blind T20 World Cup 

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