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World Cup score: Portugal rout Switzerland with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench to advance to quarterfinals

Behind a hat trick from Goncalo Ramos, Portugal have advanced out of the round of 16 for the first time since 2006 with a 6-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. Fernando Santos made the big call to bench Cristiano Ronaldo for Goncalo Ramos and was vindicated quickly. After Ronaldo's conduct against South Korea, he was benched and Portugal responded with their best performance of the tournament so far. Ramos is earned only his fourth cap but with a hat trick and an assist in the match, he'll be making quite a few more appearances for the national team after this one. Only 21, Ramos now has three goals in this World Cup.

Without Ronaldo, the Portugal press was ruthless and kept Switzerland off balance all match. Santos also made the decision to start Diogo Dalot and Raphael Guerreiro in the match and was rewarded with a goal and two assists by the duo. With a headed goal before halftime, Pepe became the second oldest male to score at the World Cup behind only Roger Milla of Cameroon who scored in the 1994 World Cup. 

At 39y, 283d Pepe has become the oldest player to score in the men's knockout stage of the tournament and also surpassed teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's goal against Ghana during the group stage of this year's tournament. Manuel Akanji did net a consolation goal for Switzerland but it wouldn't be enough to stave off the Portuguese onslaught. Ronaldo did eventually enter the game for Ramos late but the result was already assured as Santos withdrew three players to look forward to facing Morocco in the quarter finals on Saturday.

Here are a few takeaways from the match:

Vindication for Santos

Benching a national legend is never an easy decision but a line must be drawn somewhere. With the talent available to him, Santos was able to call upon Ramos, but even in that case it was surprising that someone with so little experience was called upon instead of Andre Silva or Rafael Leao. In 74 minutes, Ramos dominated the match putting five shots on target scoring three goals and assisting another. He even helped draw the corner that led to Pepe's goal as he was everywhere during the match. But Ramos wasn't the only tough decision for Ramos.

Joao Cancelo was benched to play Diogo Dalot as well. Cancelo struggled on the right side of the pitch and Dalot dominated his flank. Overall, there were four changes from Portugal's opening match versus Ghana, and each player involved performed as the team's depth shined. Santos came into the World Cup expected to grind out matches defensively and he has opened things up leaning into Portugal's strength in attack. This has turned Portugal into a team that can certainly win the World Cup.

Leao is magical

Leao only needed five minutes on the pitch to make Switzerland pay. Having a player of his caliber coming off of the bench feels unfair but that shows just how deep Portugal are. Leao already bailed the team out against Ghana and has now netted his second goal of this world cup. Already with six goals and four assists in Serie A play, he's showing that he can play anywhere during this World Cup.

With Morocco up next having game changers like Leao in the reserves will be important. Morocco hasn't allowed a goal by the opposition during this world cup. The only goal that they conceded was an own goal by Nayef Aguerd as the defense has been up for every task thrown their way. But the Portugal attack will be on a new level and Leao is part of the reason for that.

What's next for Ronaldo?

After scoring a hat trick, Santos has to roll with Ramos for the next match. Ronaldo didn't stay on the pitch celebrating with the team after the match so he may have noticed that this could be the beginning of the end. WIth how Portugal have performed without him on the pitch -- something that was also the case for Manchester United prior to his contract being terminated -- it's hard to say that he improves teams at this stage of his career. Portugal are more unpredictable and stronger at pressing without him which is why Santos has turned the team into World Cup contender by benching Ronaldo.

Ronaldo may have inspired this generation of Portuguese soccer players, but it's time to pass the torch as they have overtaken him in current ability.

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That's a rap

Portugal are only the second team to score six or more goals in a modern knockout stage match after Germany's 7-1 victory over Brazil. It was an excellent effort from Portugal as Fernando Santos was vindicated for his decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo. From a Goncalo Ramos hat trick to a Pepe header, Portugal pushed all the buttons to move on.

December 6, 2022, 9:03 PM

Get Rafel Leao more playing time

He scores the goal of the game with a beautiful curling effort as Portugal scores their sixth goal.

December 6, 2022, 8:55 PM

It's a World Cup debut for Ardon Jashari

He comes on to replace Breel Embolo as Switzerland empties their bench during the match. A moment to remember for him in what has mostly been a dismal match for Switzerland.

December 6, 2022, 8:50 PM

Ronaldo has the ball in the back of the net...

But it's offside as he was ahead of the Swiss defense. There will be chances for him to get a goal but time is dwindling.

December 6, 2022, 8:45 PM

23 mintues remain

Can the Swiss get anymore goals out of the match? They've had chances taking seven shots but Portugal has been clinical scoring five goals from only eight shots on target. Switzerland have had more possession but they haven't done enough with it/

December 6, 2022, 8:39 PM

Ronaldo will enter

The result is assured so it's time to ensure that Ramos and other key performers aren't injured.

December 6, 2022, 8:33 PM

Ramos hits a hat trick and Portugal hit the high fives

At this stage, Ramos is the starter until someone takes the shirt off of his back. What a performance. 

December 6, 2022, 8:27 PM

Is there life for Switzerland? 

Manuel Akanji pushes one back following a corner kick but they'll need a few more quick goals to make this a discussion.

December 6, 2022, 8:19 PM

Everything Portugal touches ends in goal!

This is a demolition of the highest order. Ramos becomes the assister as Raphael Guerreiro scores the goal. What a performance here.

December 6, 2022, 8:16 PM

Excellent follow through from Portugal

December 6, 2022, 8:14 PM

Goncalo Ramos is him

Dalot crosses the ball into the box and Ramos hits it in from close range. Portugal are absolutely flying!

December 6, 2022, 8:11 PM

Fabian Schar has been withdrawn

After picking up a yellow card and a knock he has been replaced after halftime for Switzerland. Eray Comert will enter in his place to try and get Switzerland back in the match.

December 6, 2022, 8:08 PM

What a half from Portugal

It could've easily been more goals as they swarmed Switzerland early and often. The team looks better without Ronaldo on the pitch and it will be interesting to see if he comes on during the second half. Goncalo Ramos has shown why he's out there while Pepe has made history displaying just how deep Portugal's squad is.

December 6, 2022, 7:58 PM

Pepe's goal was a significant one 

He became the second oldest male to score at the World Cup behind only Roger Milla of Cameroon who scored in the 1994 World Cup. At 39, Pepe has become the oldest player to score in the men's knockout stage of the tournament and also surpassed teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's goal against Ghana during the group stage of this year's tournament. Aging like a fine wine.

December 6, 2022, 7:42 PM

Big header by Schar, but it won't matter! PEPE

Ramos has been everywhere as if Schar doesn't clear it he heads it in for a brace. From the corner that followed, Bruno Fernandes hits Pepe and it's a second.

December 6, 2022, 7:34 PM

Possibly a change coming for Switzerland

Fabian Schar has gone down after picking up a knock. He'll try to continue but Nico Elvedi is warming up in case he's needed after missing the Serbia match due to an illness.

December 6, 2022, 7:30 PM

Ramos vindicated

Come into the lineup for Ronaldo, bang in a World Cup goal. Magic on just his fourth World Cup appearance dominating Sommer at his near post.

December 6, 2022, 7:19 PM

Both teams are playing just a little too fast

Overhit passes are the name of the game so far as both Portugal and Switzerland have had good attacks but can't find the cutting edge in the final third. Portugal seems like the stronger team but there hasn't been a shot on target and possession has been even so far. Once teams are done feeling each other out, this should kick up a notch.

December 6, 2022, 7:17 PM

Portugal are fluid

it's a fast start to the match as Switzerland has only had one coordinated attack. So far, without Ronaldo, the Portugal press has been relentless and it is giving Switzerland issues in possession.

December 6, 2022, 7:08 PM

And here we go

The final place in the last eight will be decided. Will we have a third match head to extra time?

December 6, 2022, 6:59 PM

Looking back at their last meeting

December 6, 2022, 6:52 PM

How did Ronaldo get here?

Cristiano Ronaldo's wild World Cup continues as he has been benched for Portugal's round of 16 clash with Switzerland. Replaced by Goncalo Ramos, head coach Fernando Santos said in the lead-up to the match that he'd consider removing the armband from Ronaldo due to his conduct leaving the match against South Korea, but he has gone one step further, relegating him to the bench.

"Have I seen the images? Yes, I didn't like it, not at all. I didn't like it," Santos said during his pre-match press conference Tuesday. "I really didn't like it. But from that moment onwards everything is finished regarding that issue. These matters are resolved behind closed doors. It's resolved. Full stop on this matter and now everyone is focused on [Tuesday's] match."

When Ronaldo left the match against South Korea, he said that a player was telling him to leave quickly to which he responded, "I told him to shut up, he has no authority, he doesn't have to say anything." But that's only the tip of the iceberg for Ronaldo. While he has become the first male player to score at five World Cups with his penalty kick goal against Ghana, Ronaldo has also seen his contract with Manchester United terminated due to the fallout from a fiery interview with Piers Morgan.

December 6, 2022, 6:28 PM

The Swiss look for an upset

Only one change from their win over Serbia. At right back Silvan Widmer has been replaced by Edimilson Fernandes

Starters: Sommer, Rodriguez, Akanji, Schar, Fernandes, Xhaka, Freuler, Vargas, Sow, Shaqiri, Embolo

Reserves: Elvedi, Zakaria, Seferovic, Steffen, Omlin, Aebischer, Fassnacht, Comert, Okafor, Frei, Kobel, Kohn, Rieder, Jashari

December 6, 2022, 6:23 PM

No Ronaldo for Portugal

But not only is Ronaldo benched for Ramos, but Joao Cancelo is also on the bench for the match too.

Starters: Costa, Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro, Oravio, Carvalho, Silva, Fernandes, Ramos, Felix

Reserves: Patricio, Palninha, Ronaldo, Andre Silva, Sa, Leao, Vitinha, Mario, Neves, Cancelo, Horta, Nunes, Antonio Silva

December 6, 2022, 6:17 PM

Switzerland team news

To win this match, a big performance will be needed from Breel Embolo atop the line. His two goals in the World Cup aren't all that he has brought to the table as his hold-up play has been important as well. Allowing the Swiss to play it long and build up behind him, Embolo will need to do it all while hoping for some Xherdan Shaqiri magic to see the game out.

December 6, 2022, 6:00 PM

Portugal team news

With wing-back Nuno Mendes out for the remainder of the World Cup, it's a good time to flip Joao Cancelo to left-back while getting Diogo Dalot on the pitch. Cancelo has struggled a bit on the right for Portugal so flipping him could give the team a good balance in order to keep this game in control. Depending on the Ronaldo situation, Rafael Leao is just waiting for his chance to start for Portugal to add another goal or two to his World Cup tally.

December 6, 2022, 5:54 PM

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 6 | Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • Location: Lusail Iconic Stadium -- Lusail, Qatar
  • TV: FOX | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
  • Odds: Portugal -111; Draw +235; Switzerland +340 (via Caesars Sportsbook) 
December 6, 2022, 5:44 PM
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