2022 World Cup : Portugal 6-1 Switzerland / Morocco win Spain on penalty shootoutsdécembre 7, 2022
Goncalo Ramos nets first hat-trick of World Cup 2022 as Portugal drop Cristiano Ronaldo but thrash Switzerland 6-1 in last 16. Morocco progress to the next round of the competition with a penalty shootout win over Spain.
Portugal had no regrets over dropping Cristiano Ronaldo as his replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in a superb 6-1 win over Switzerland in the World Cup last 16. The fallout of Ronaldo’s reaction to his substitution in Portugal’s previous game dominated the build-up to the knock-out clash and his demotion ended a run of 31 games he had started for his country at tournament finals. His countrymen shook off any drama around his absence with one of the performances of the tournament so far as Portugal reached the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2006, where Spain’s conquerors Morocco await.
Ramos, his replacement, was five-years-old when Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal and needed only 17 minutes to open his own account with a thunderous effort that was past Yann Sommer before he could react.
Portugal cemented their advantage before the interval when 39-year-old Pepe became the second-oldest scorer in World Cup history but oldest in the competition knockout stages from a corner before Ramos ended the game as a contest with a poacher’s finish at the near post. Even left-back Raphael Guerreiro got in on the act just before the hour, rifling home an inviting Ramos assist, before Manuel Akanji stabbed home a consolation which barely merited a celebration. Ramos returned from provider to goalscorer with the first hat-trick of this World Cup, delicately chipping Sommer to emphatically vindicate his manager’s faith. Ronaldo was finally introduced from the bench shortly after and though Portugal did add a sixth it was another youngster on the scoresheet rather than their elder statesman, with Rafael Leao curling exquisitely into the corner in added time.
This result means they’ll face the only Africa representative, Morocco in the Quarterfinals. The Arabic country won Spain won penalty shootouts after the 0-0 draw for 120 minutes. It means that since the start of the competition, they’ve conceded only one gaol, which was an own goal from Canada; joint with Brazil against South Korea. They’re also the fourth African team to progress to the last four after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, Ghana in 2010.
Alfred Rasaq AGBADJAME