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Portugal Beats Switzerland 6-1 To Jump Into Quarter Finals With Morocco
Tuesday - Dec 6, 2022
Portugal Beats Switzerland 6-1 To Jump Into Quarter Finals With Morocco
Qatar: No CR7, but six goals for a stylish, swaggering Portugal. They played some exhilarating football, maybe the best we’ve seen in this tournament, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a fairytale hat-trick in his first full game for his country. The other goals, all crackers in their own way, came from Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao. Switzerland is a decent side, but they were taken apart. Portugal will now play Morocco, with France or England waiting in the semi-final if they get through. On that form, they could win the whole thing.
The substitute Rafael Leao scores a beauty. He played a neat one-two with Guerreiro, cut inside on the left edge of the box and whipped a curling shot around the flat-footed Sommer. Lovely goal. “It’s silly to belittle Ronaldo’s career as he clearly is one of the all-time greats,” says Espen Bommen, “but it’s interesting that Portugal’s biggest success, the Euro win, and their best game, because I think today qualifies as that, has come without him on the pitch.”
I’d say that’s just coincidence, as he got them to the final of Euro 2016. This is different though – the team just looks better without him. He could still have an impact on this tournament from the bench, though, a 124th-minute winner against England in the semi-finals maybe. “Actually, I would not mind if Portugal met Argentina in the final,” says João Melo, “and Messi and Ronaldo got involved in a fight during the game and were both red carded simultaneously for it.” And then walked down the tunnel, arm in arm.

To be fair, he knew he was offside. He took it well, rattling a left-footed shot past Sommer, but he was about four yards offside when the ball was played through. “Why keep slagging on CR?” says John Steppling. “Great story with Ramos, but Ronaldo has been a superb player for a decade. Of course, people cheer and they should. Doesn’t make them idiots. Makes you an idiot.”
I was talking about the circus generally – to which I’ve also contributed – not Ronaldo. But I appreciate the pep talk and self-esteem boost. Embolo’s extravagant scissor kick from the edge of the area goes a few yards wide. It hit Dalot’s noggin en route, though I don’t think it was on target. Shaqiri’s corner is headed over at the near post by Xhaka. That was a chance.
Triple change for Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo, Vitinha and Ricardo Horta replace Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos, Otavio. There are wild cheers as he runs onto the field, much wilder than at any stage of the actual game, DURING WHICH A YOUNG MAN SCORED ONE OF THE GREAT WORLD CUP HAT-TRICKS YOU EEJITS.

It’s not over yet. Wait till he scores the winner against Argentina in the final and then suplexes Messi. That’s the first hat-trick of this World Cup. There were only two in 2018, actually: Harry Kane against Panama and, yep, Cristiano Ronaldo against Spain. Guerreiro’s volleyed cross just evades the flying Fernandes at the far post. Portugal have played sheer, delightful football tonight. It’s worth repeating: Goncalo Ramos is 21 years old, in place of Cristiano Ronaldo, starting his first game in international football, in place of Cristiano Ronaldo, in a World Cup knockout game, in place of Cristiano Ronaldo, for a team who haven’t won a World Cup knockout game in 16 years.
This really is incredible. Joao Felix slipped him in with a simple pass, and Ramos dinked the ball gently over the outrushing Sommer. Who writes his scripts? Goncalo Ramos completes a hat-trick that is going straight into World Cup folklore! An early corner down the left for Portugal. Bernardo Silva’s outswinger is headed across goal and booted clear by Rodriguez.
There was a huge cheer around the ground just before the corner was taken. Either Ronaldo is warming up or Gianni Infantino has appeared on the big screen.  “Perhaps Ronaldo’s decline started with the loss of his son (and hospitalisation of his daughter),” says Ellen Bohan, “which he didn’t have a lot of time to recover from - not that you ever fully recover from that.” There have signs of physical decline too but goodness knows what that does to even somebody as mentally tough as Ronaldo. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m a bit uneasy with all the schadenfreude. Viva Portugal!

Comments (2)
Rupesh Pednekar
Wednesday - Dec 7, 2022
Viva Portugal! Viva Goa Portugal! Skirt Blouse Murdabad! Long live Goans who are Portuguese Citizens.
Tuesday - Dec 6, 2022
Viva Portugal
khollapuri ghatti Sawant, can you hear that?
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