Portugal smash Switzerland for six without Ronaldo
Portugal’s young striker Goncalo Ramos filled Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots and some with a hat-trick in a 6-1 victory over Switzerland on Tuesday night.
Before the game had even begun Ronaldo made headlines once again after Portugal boss Fernando Santos relegated him to the bench.
21-year-old Ramos was then called to replace Ronaldo on his Portugal debut for a spot in the final eight in Qatar.
And the Benfica youngster only took 17 minutes to take that chance with both hands, finding the back of the net with a sensational finish at the near post.
Portugal were in the lead and in control and just after the half-hour mark, the lead was doubled through a Pepe header.
The 39-year-old became the oldest player to score a knockout stage goal in World Cup history.
Ramos’s dream debut became even better five minutes into the second-half when he latched onto a near post cross to get his second of the game.
The game was all but settled four minutes later when attacking fullback Raphael Guerreiro scored Portugal’s fourth goal of the night.
Switzerland knew they had found nothing but a consolation goal when Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji tapped home from a corner moments later.
And as if Ramos’s night could not get any better, the youngster found the back of the net to secure his hat-trick on a night he will never forget.
With the game coming to an end, the crowd roared one last time as Ronaldo put his shirt on to play the final 20 minutes.
The former Manchester United man may have lost his touch on the field, but he has certainly not lost his crowd appeal.
Ronaldo reportedly started from the bench following a rift with head coach Santos after being substituted against South Korea last Friday.
Portugal had one last goal in them when Rafael Leao scored his side’s sixth with a wonderful curling finish into the bottom right corner.
Portugal made it past the round of 16 stage for the first time since the 2006 World Cup with the victory over Switzerland.
Next up for the 2016 European Champions is a tricky tie against North African side Morocco on Saturday.
Pictured above: Goncalo Ramos celebrating
Image source: @FifaWorldCup