Portugal blow away Switzerland to reach World Cup last eight

Portugal dismantled Switzerland 6-1 to charge into the World Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday as Goncalo Ramos started in place of Cristiano Ronaldo and scored the first hat-trick of the tournament.

Portugal's forward #07 Cristiano Ronaldo (L) fights for the ball with Switzerland's midfielder #26 Ardon Jashari during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between Portugal and Switzerland at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 6, 2022. (Photo: AFP)

The Portuguese will face Morocco in the quarter-finals after sweeping aside the Swiss in a display that was every bit as impressive as Brazil's demolition of South Korea 24 hours earlier.

In a surprise move, 21-year-old Benfica forward Ramos replaced Ronaldo in the starting line-up at Lusail Stadium.

Ronaldo, the only man to score at five World Cups, was relegated to the bench after coach Fernando Santos was annoyed at his angry response to being substituted in Portugal's final group game.

He was not missed, with Portugal a more fluid side without him.

Ramos not only announced himself to the world with his well-taken hat-trick, he also provided an assist for Raphael Guerreiro to score. Veteran defender Pepe was also on target.

Ronaldo finally made his entrance in the 74th minute to cheers from the Portugal fans and soon had the ball in the net, but he was flagged for offside.

Rafael Leao, another of Portugal's young guns, then rounded off the win with the best goal of the night, a curling, dipping shot that left Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer rooted to the spot in second-half stoppage time.