KUWAIT, Dec 6 (KUNA) -- Goncalo Ramos bagged a hattrick as Portugal dismantled Switzerland, 6-1, at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday, to reach a World Cup quarterfinal against Morocco.
The Portuguese reach this stage for only the third time in their history, the last time being in 2006, after scoring their biggest tally in a knockout stage.
It also represented a huge risk for head coach Fernando Santos, leaving star player and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo out of his starting 11.
Ramos, who plys his trade for local club Benfica, struck early in the 17th minute before experienced defender Pepe doubled his lead three minutes after the half-hour mark.
The match ball winning forward followed by adding another in the second half with Switzerland managing what they thought would be a comeback in the 58th minute.
However, Portugal had other plans as Raphael Guerreiro took his side's tally to four with Ramos bagging his hattrick minutes later and Raphael Leao scoring a sixth in the second miute of added time.
The match completes the outcomes of the initial knockout stage, with four quarterfinal fixtures scheduled on Friday (Croatia v Brazil, Netherlands v Argentina) and Saturday (Morocco v Portugal, England v France). (end)