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Ramos hat-trick fires Portugal into World Cup last 8

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-12-07 07:20
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Portugal's Goncalo Ramos celebrates scoring their fifth goal and his hat-trick with Pepe during their Round of 16 match against Switzerland of the FIFA World Cup at Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar, December 6, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

LUSAIL, Qatar - Goncalo Ramos scored the first hat-trick of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as Portugal reached the quarterfinals with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Switzerland here on Tuesday.

Making his first international start, the 21-year-old Ramos opened the scoring in the 17th minute before Pepe doubled the lead with a thumping header. Ramos struck again just after half-time and Raphael Guerreiro made it 4-0 by finishing off a brilliantly worked team goal.

Switzerland pulled a goal back in the 58th minute through a Manuel Akanji strike but the respite was short lived. Not satisfied with his brace, Ramos dinked home Portugal's fifth goal before substitute Rafael Leao completed the rout in stoppage time.

The result means Portugal will meet Morocco at Al Thumama stadium in Doha on Saturday (Dec. 10), with a berth in the semifinals at stake.

Ramos' place in Portugal's starting lineup came at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was dropped to the bench after unimpressive displays in his team's last two group-stage matches against Uruguay and South Korea.

The move was vindicated when Ramos put his team ahead with their first shot on target. The Benfica forward received Joao Felix's pass with his back to goal before turning to his left and rifling a shot that beat Yann Sommer for power at the near post.

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