With Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, Portugal’s replacement scored a hat trick to beat Switzerland 6-1 and advance to the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday. Goncalo Ramos, a 21-year-old forward who made his Portugal debut only a month ago, made his first start for his country and displayed the kind of clinical finishing Ronaldo was known for.
Ramos opened the scoring in the 17th minute and added two more in the 51st and 67th minutes, by which time chants of “RONALDO! RONALDO!” were echoing throughout the 89,000-seat Lusail Stadium. Ronaldo came on as a substitute in the 72nd minute to loud applause, but Portugal had already won, with defenders Pepe and Raphael Guerreiro scoring.
Rafael Leao scored in stoppage time to round out the scoring. Switzerland’s goal came from Manuel Akanji. Portugal has reached the quarterfinals for the third time, following 1966 and 2006. They will face Morocco on Saturday. Portugal coach Fernando Santos must now decide whether to keep Ramos or bring back Ronaldo, the top scorer in men’s international soccer and one of the game’s all-time greats.