Portugal 6-1 Switzerland: Ramos runs riot as youngster announces himself on world stage
Goncalo Ramos celebrates giving Portugal the lead against Switzerland (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images).

Goncalo Ramos was the star of a superb display, netting a hat-trick as Portugal ran out 6-1 winners against Switzerland.

The young Benfica striker started in place of Cristiano Ronaldo and more than delivered, directly contributing to four of the six goals his side scored.

A Selecao were fantastic on the night, whilst Switzerland were timid and dominated in the World Cup round of 16 tie.

  • Story of the match

The main story ahead of the tie was that Ronaldo was benched by Fernando Santos for A Selecao's knockout tie, in one of four changes.

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Joao Cancelo and Nuno Mendes were also replaced from the team that secured their qualification in the round of 16 against Uruguay, with Diogo Dalot, Raphael Guerreiro and Otavio all starting.

Switzerland made two changes from their win against Serbia last time out, with Yann Sommer back between the sticks after recovering from an illness and Edimilson Fernandes kept Silvan Widmer out the team.

Joao Felix worked the ball into the box, but the touch from Bruno Fernandes let him down as Portugal went in search of an early opener.

Breel Embolo went up the other end of the pitch and had the first shot of the tie, and his shot went behind for a corner.

The resulting set piece was aimed for Fabian Schar, but it was cleared away by Os Navegadores' defence.

Ruben Dias headed away a long ball that could have played Embolo in on goal.

Fernandes had time and space to cross on the right-hand side for Switzerland, but his cross was wayward.

Xherdan Shaqiri was unfortunate not to capitalise on a poor pass out the back from Dias, but Portugal were able to clear their lines.

Dalot tried to race onto the end of a threaded pass, but the ball was intercepted.

Ramos could not get on the end of a driven cross in the 15th minute.

It was an even but slightly cagey start to the contest.

Bernardo Sliva looked to cut the ball across the box for Felix to tap in the opener, but a vital interception from Ricardo Rodriguez prevented the chance from falling for the Atletico Madrid man.

Greatness from Goncalo

In the 17th minute Ramos proved his worth with a stunning strike to give Portugal the lead.

The Benfica youngster picked the ball up and rocketed the ball into the net past a bamboozled Sommer, repaying the faith Santos paid in him to start him over Ronaldo.

It was a special moment for the forward who was making his first international start.

Otavio aimed a volley towards goal minutes later, but it was comfortably held by Sommer.

Felix played the ball back into Ramos, who drove at the heart of the Switzerland defence, but the eventual shot was scuffed and forced an easy save.

Embolo ran at the heart of the defence and won a foul off Dias.

The striker was playing very well despite his side being behind.

Shaqiri went close from a long way out from the resulting free kick, which was touched behind by Diogo Costa for a corner which came to nothing.

There was a vital touch from a Swiss defender to deny Portugal a second, sending a cross behind for corner.

It meant very little, as Pepe powered a header in to double A Selecao's lead.

It was an emphatic finish, but it was all too easy for Pepe who had a free header.

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Felix looked to float the ball into the box to get a third and kill the game off in the first half, but nobody was on the end of it.

Costa was fortunate to be rescued by Dalot, as the Manchester United man cleared the ball off the line after his goalkeeper flapped at a cross.

It gifted Remo Freuler had a great chance to turn the ball in and get a goal back for A-Team Nati, but he could not generate enough power on the ball to score.

Fernandes' cross for Portugal was far too strong and failed to pick out Ramos.

The striker had a chance seconds later however, losing his man and firing goalward, but a top save from Sommer tipped the ball past the post.

A wonderful run from Felix saw the 23-year-old slalom between several players in white shirts before picking out Fernandes, who could not quite return the ball to the young sensation.

Guerreiro had a go from range but could not find the target for Santos' side.

Portugal were in full control at the interval, leading 2-0.

After a shaky start, it was a superb half from Portugal, who burst into life after Ramos gave Os Navegadores the lead.

Murat Yakin's team had a mountain to climb at the break and would need somewhat of a miracle to turn it around despite a bright start from Embolo up front for the Rossocrociati.

Switzerland reverted to a back four for the second half, with Eran Comert replacing Schar at the break.

Perfect Portugal

Fernandes began the second half the same way the first half ended, aiming a cross towards Ramos

It was not cleared well enough, as Ramos got a second attempt which he duly took to score a second on a memorable night for the striker.

It was a well taken shot prodded through the legs of the goalkeeper to put Portugal three up.

He had an assist in the 54th minute, teeing up Guerreiro who fired the ball into the roof of the net from inside the box.

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Portugal were four goals to the good and Switzerland were sinking without a trace.

It was raining goals, as Ramos of all people failed to clear a corner, which Manuel Akanji of Manchester City tapped home to give Switzerland a consolation goal in the 57th minute.

Pepe had to be alert to divert a cross from the right wing away from goal near the hour mark.

Ramos had his hat-trick in the 67th minute with a wonderful goal.

He chipped the ball over the goalkeeper in time and space to complete an incredible hat-trick.

Silva nearly had a sixth when the ball was crossed into him, but he could not quite meet it on the stretch.

Denis Zakaria aimed a shot towards goal for Switzerland, but it was well blocked by Pepe.

Ronaldo was brought on in place of Ramos in the 72nd minute to a huge applause from the crowd.

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His first real action was to fire a free kick into the wall from range, as the wall held firm to deny the star striker.

Embolo tried a spectacular overhead kick with very little to lose, but it was deflected behind for a corner.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka was on the end of the cross, but he headed over.

Ronaldo looked to get himself on the score sheet late on, but his effort went wide.

Rafael Leao added a sixth with a curling effort in added time, cutting in on his right foot and scoring.

It left Sommer rooted to the spot, with Portugal showing their strength in depth going forward.

Full time saw Portugal book their place in the World Cup quarter final in style, seeing off Switzerland with a 6-1 win.

They will now face Morocco, which looks set to be an intriguing game, with the African side defying all expectations to beat Spain on penalties earlier in the day.

  • Player of the match

This was a no brainer.

Perhaps Tuesday night saw the birth of a new star in football.

Given a chance somewhat controversially by his boss, Goncalo Ramos delivered a footballing masterclass with three goals and an assist, showing he was more than worth his place in the Portugal side over Ronaldo.

The 21-year-old looked to be loving every minute of a spectacular display from the attacker.

He will hope that was the first of many great games in his career.

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