Goncalo Ramos hat trick for Portugal at World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Goncalo Ramos scored a hat trick as he started over Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s65-1 win over Switzerland in the World Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday.

Ramos also had an assist and Portugal mainstays Raphael Guerreiro, Raphael Leao, and Pepe also scored in the win. Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Dalot, and Joao Felix all had assists for the clinical EURO 2016 champions.

Portugal does Fernando Santos right, flashes title credentials

Pulling Cristiano Ronaldo out of the Starting XI for any reason is a gutsy move for a coach, but doing it for Portugal is even braver than doing it at a club.

But Fernando Santos did just that on Tuesday in a World Cup knockout round match, opting for a 21-year-old with just 33 minutes of national team playing time.

Goodness, did it work.

The EURO-winning boss saw Santos score three times and set up a Raphael Guerreiro goal as Portugal steamrolled Switzerland and moved within two wins of a World Cup final.

Ramos scored a goal and an assist against Nigeria in his most extensive senior action for Portugal, but he had yet to start a match for Santos’ side.

Portugal has seven players on its squad from the team that won EURO and will now like its chances as the favorite against plucky and in-form Morocco. Then it would be England or France for a berth in the final.

Say what you will about Ronaldo not starting but he’s a heck of a player to come off the bench. Ruben Neves (9 mins),

Ruben Neves (3 mins) and Joao Cancelo (0 mins) were among the players who didn’t have to hit the pitch or do much more than stretch their legs.

There really isn’t a reason for Portugal to stop dreaming big.

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