Goncalo Ramos netted a magnificent hat-trick after being named as Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock replacement to inspire Portugal to a 6-1 World Cup romp against Switzerland.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos sprung a huge surprise by leaving the leading goalscorer in history of international football on the bench. A 21-year-old making his first international start promptly stole the show and booked a quarterfinal showdown with Morocco.
Ramos violently crashed a 17th-minute shot into the top corner before a man 18 years his senior, veteran centre-back Pepe, become the second-oldest goalscorer at the World Cup behind Cameroon great Roger Milla.
There was nothing backward looking or nostalgic about this Portugal side, though, as Ramos and Raphael Guerriero put the game to bed early in the second half. After Manuel Akanji, one of Switzerland’s bedraggled defenders, pulled one back, Ramos secured the matchball and substitute Rafael Leao rifled home a show-stopping sixth.- The Sporting News