Cristiano Ronaldo started Qatar’s FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between Portugal and Switzerland off the bench, and his team put in an impressive performance by beating Helvetien 6-1 on Tuesday in Lusail.
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And this is a blow for the great striker, especially since his substitute scored a hat-trick. And the young Goncalo Ramos, in his first period in the World Cup, became the first player since Miroslav Klose in 2002 to score three goals in such circumstances. History will tell if Ramos builds his legend, but the German is the top scorer in World Cup finals with 16 goals.
Ronaldo entered the field in the last quarter of the hour. At the final whistle, he quickly left the field as his teammates celebrated their apparent victory.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is our captain. He is a reference and an idol for many of us,” said Ramos in a televised interview, very respectful of CR7’s work.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos has defended in a press conference his decision to leave Ronaldo on the sidelines.
“There is no problem with our captain. We have been friends for years. We spoke before the game and he had no problem with my decision. This is an example,” he explained.
Ramos, just 21, started the demolition task in the 17th minute by surprising Jan Sommer from a tight angle. These were the first setbacks for the Swiss defense, which looked like Swiss cheese.
Veteran defender Pepe scored with a header (33), before returning the spotlight to Ramos, who hit the goal in the 51st minute, then in the 67th minute to complete his hat-trick. And between these two nets, Rafael Guerrero (55) also hit the target, while Manuel Akanji (58) ensured the shy response from the Swiss.
Rafael Leao completed the scoring in stoppage time in the second half. Sommer didn’t even dare to move the shot thrown right over his head.
We weren’t up for it, we got slapped,” quarterback Dennis Zakaria told beIN Sports.
“We are very disappointed,” he added. We wanted to write history, but we couldn’t. We tried to change the system, but it didn’t work.
Portugal will meet in the quarter-finals in Morocco. The two countries met in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup, and Ronaldo scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory for “Seleção”.