Portugal 6-1 Switzerland: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

A hat-trick for 21-year-old Gonçalo Ramos in his first World Cup appearance at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo proved a masterstroke as Portugal ran riot at Lusail

Fernando Santos’ Portugal produced the statement result of the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup after dispatching Switzerland in a 6-1 demolition job at Lusail Iconic Stadium while booking their place in the quarterfinals and a date with Morocco.

News that Santos had dropped Cristiano Ronaldo on the night in favor of 21-year-old Gonçalo Ramos was a huge talking point in the run-up to kick-off but would end up proving a masterstroke as Santos led the line in a manner that Ronaldo has never been able to achieve in the knockout stage of the World Cup.

Matters remained level at Lusail Iconic Stadium until the 18th minute when Gonçalo Ramos justified his selection in the matchday XI ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo when he received the ball in the area before he turned sharply and fired a rocket into the roof of the net to beat Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Yann Sommer high at the near post.

It was Ramos’ fourth cap for Portugal in an unexpected start ahead of more seasoned options the likes of André Silva and Ricardo Horta, but Fernando Santos put faith in the 21-year-old who came into the tournament as the top goalscorer in Primeira Liga with 9 goals for giants SL Benfica.

Swiss talisman Xherdan Shaqiri nearly leveled matters in the 30th minute with a well-struck bending effort from a free-kick that forced Diogo Costa into a sprawling save to deny the Chicago Fire forward as Murat Yakin’s troops looked to work themselves back to level terms.

Portugal would not be denied at the other end just three minutes later when veteran center-back Pepe slammed home his header from just six yards out after Bruno Fernandes played a brilliant out-swinging ball for the 39-year-old to out-leap Newcastle United’s Fabian Schär before putting the Iberian side justifiably two to the good on the scoresheet.

It took Portugal less than five minutes to triple their lead and it was once again through Ramos who tapped home from less than five yards out after a low cross was played to the near post by Diogo Dalot, with the Benfica starlet hitting more goals in knockout matches at the World Cup than the man he replaced in the XI. Ramos turned provider just minutes later after brilliant one-touch football eventually found Raphaël Guerriero free and clear in the area to slam home into the roof of the net past Sommer as the rout was on at Lusail before Manchester City’s Manuel Akanji pulled one back for the Swiss after tapping home a loose ball that found him free at the back post during the run of play.

In the end, it would be a nice to remember for Ramos and Portugal as the baton may well and truly be passed from Ronaldo to the Portuguese youngster when he was put into space in a 1v1 with Sommer before slotting low to the far post to secure the first hat-trick of the 2022 World Cup.

AC Milan starlet would come off the bench to complete the 6-1 decimation job in stoppage time after Sommer was left wrong-footed, with Portugal offering up the biggest statement result of the round of 16 while looking a much-improved version of themselves without Ronaldo leading the line.

Portugal Player Ratings

  • Diogo Costa (GK): 6.5 - An average night for the FC Porto shot-stopper who could not keep hold of his clean sheet.
  • Diogo Dalot (RB): 7.5 - The Manchester United right-back was good, with an assist on the night. Cancelo was not missed.
  • Pepe (CB): 7.5 - The 39-year-old rolled the clock back tonight with a well-taken goal and an overall good performance.
  • Rúben Dias (CB): 6.5 - Probably Portugal’s worst performer on the night though he was hardly poor, either.
  • Raphaël Guerreiro (LB): 7.5 - The absence of Nuno Mendes was not felt after the Dortmund left-back put in a very good shift.
  • Otávio (RCM): 7 - Showed his quality on the night with his technical grace on the ball and understanding of space.
  • William Carvalho (CM): 7 - A credible outing from the box-to-box midfielder who looks to retain his status in the team.
  • Bernardo Silva (LCM): 7 - A quiet night on the scoresheet for the Manchester City man but efficient nevertheless.
  • Bruno Fernandes (CAM): 8 - Looked good on the night while really controlling matters more freely without Ronaldo.
  • João Félix (RF): 8.5 - A brace of assists highlights a very good night for the Atlético Madrid youngster.
  • Gonçalo Ramos (LF): 10 - No better way to announce yourself to the world than a hat-trick at your first World Cup start.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Sub): 6
  • Ricardo Horta (Sub): 6
  • Vitinha (Sub): 6
  • Rúben Neves (Sub): 6
  • Rafael Leão (Sub): 6.5

Switzerland Player Ratings

  • Yann Sommer (GK): 5 - A five might be generous given the scoresheet but Switzerland was carved apart ahead of him.
  • Manuel Akanji (RCB): 6.5 - Bagged a goal to save face in some ways after the Swiss defense simply could not cope.
  • Fabian Schär (CB): 5.5 - Brought into the team due to an illness to Elvedi before being subbed off for the same reason.
  • Ricardo Rodríguez (LCB): 6 - Offered little in an attacking sense but was hardly given the chance to bomb forward.
  • Edimilson Fernandes (RWB): 5.5 - Brought into the XI on the night instead of Silvan Widmer; did not perform.
  • Ruben Vargas (LWB): 6 - Was poor after being tasked with a wing-back role on a night that he is relatively unfamiliar with.
  • Granit Xhaka (DM): 6 - Tried as best he could to provide some measure of control in the central spaces.
  • Remo Freuler (CM): 5 - The Forest midfielder had one of his worst outings in a Swiss shirt in an anonymous performance.
  • Djibril Sow (CM): 5.5 - A difficult night for the Eintracht Frankfurt man who was completely overrun in midfield.
  • Breel Embolo (RF): 6 - Was on somewhat of a breakout tournament for Switzerland but was muted throughout.
  • Xherdan Shaqiri (LF): 6 - Ineffective on a night where more was expected but through no fault of his own.
  • Eray Cömert (Sub): 6
  • Denis Zakaria (Sub): 6
  • Haris Seferovic (Sub): 6
  • Noah Okafor (Sub): 6
  • Ardon Jashari (Sub): N/A

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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