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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 Raphael Guerreiro (L) celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Bruno Fernandes during their Round of 16 match against Switzerland of the FIFA World Cup at Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar, December 6, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Portugal were suddenly exuding confidence. Otavio Monteiro sent a bouncing attempt from the edge of the box straight at Sommer and Ramos again forced the Swiss keeper into action with a low 20-yard drive after Felix's floating cross.

Switzerland's defense looked a shambles and they conceded again just after the half-hour mark when 39-year-old Porto defender Pepe rose highest to meet a Bruno Fernandes corner with a thunderous header past Sommer.

The goal made Pepe the second oldest scorer at the World Cup, behind only Roger Milla, who was 42 when he netted against Russia in the United States 28 years ago.

Switzerland's best scoring chance of the first half came when Xherdan Shaqiri hammered a 30-yard free-kick that was palmed away by a diving Diogo Costa.

But it proved a rare flicker of hope for Murat Yakin's side as Portugal continued to push forward with menace.

Ramos went close to doubling his personal tally on the stroke of halftime as he ran onto Bruno Fernandes' pass only to see his first-time effort turned around for a corner by Sommer.

Portugal maintained their intensity early in the second half. Diogo Dalot beat Ruben Vargas for pace on the right flank before sending a cross to the near post that Ramos fired home between Sommer's legs.

Ramos then turned provider, combining with Felix and then releasing Guerreiro, who blasted the ball into the roof of the net.

Switzerland barely managed to enter their final third but reduced the deficit with a rare attacking foray near the hour.

Shaqiri's curling corner deflected off the head of Ramos before falling for Akanji, who volleyed in at the far post.

But Portugal were irrepressible. They added a fifth goal when Ramos ran onto Felix's pass and clipped a shot over the onrushing Sommer.

Ronaldo drew loud cheers from the near-capacity crowd when he replaced Felix in the 73rd minute. And the roar was almost deafening 10 minutes later after he drilled a low finish into the bottom corner only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

Rafael Leao, an 87th-minute substitute for Fernandes, added further misery to Switzerland's night when he played a one-two with Guerreiro before curling his effort into the far corner.

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