Twitter exploded when Portugal’s starting line-up was announced for the game against Switzerland.
How could Fernando Santos bench Cristiano Ronaldo? Would it pay off?
The team answered a resounding yes.
Impressive team effort overshadows star on the bench
It only took 17 minutes for Portugal to . Gonçalo Ramos announced himself on the world stage in style. His shot flew past Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer at the near post. Prior to the tournament, Ramos was a name to watch, even if he didn’t make headlines. He scored goals for Benfica in both the Portuguese Primeira Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
The Portuguese team was relentless in attacking play in the first half. This was Portugal unleashed. Veteran defender Pepe added a second in the 33rd minute with a header from a Portuguese corner kick. Calm could not come soon enough for the Swiss who struggled to stop the devastating Portuguese attack.
Six minutes into the second half, Gonçalo Ramos added a second, Portugal’s third. It began to be questioned how many goals Portugal could score. The Swiss couldn’t keep up with the fast passes and fluid movements of Portugal’s front three.
Portugal takes it from bad to worse for Switzerland
Even with the Swiss covering the front three, the midfield and wingers pushed forward in support. Raphaël Guerreiro came in from a wide position on Portugal’s fourth goal. Perhaps the only beautiful moment of the game for Switzerland was when Manchester City defender Manual Akanji scored a consolation goal 3 minutes later.
However, Gonçalo Ramos completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute. Although Cristiano Ronaldo has stolen many headlines in the past two weeks. Today all eyes were on. The 21-year-old has thrown himself into the fight for the Golden Shoe. He is now just 2 goals behind leader Kylian Mbappé.
Ronaldo was brought on in the 73rd minute. However, it was Rafael Leão, another substitute, who found the back of the net in stoppage time to cap off an impressive 6-1 win. Ronaldo is chasing the World Cup record held by legendary Portuguese Eusebio. He will have to wait for Portugal to face Morocco in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
No one saw Switzerland capitulate as they did. Take nothing away from Portugal’s brilliance, but the Swiss will be disappointed with the manner of defeat. Insert your Swiss cheese jokes here.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pressinphoto
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