|Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for the best part of the game but the team delivered without him and booked a place in the quarter-final against Morocco. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Portugal proved their worth on Tuesday with a sensational 6-1 win over Switzerland but the pre-match headline was about Fernando Santos’ decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench.
The mega superstar was a subject of controversy after he complained about being substituted in the 2-1 loss to South Korea and the coach decided to show him who the boss is; in fairness to the coach, the team played their best football without him.
Switzerland went into the game on the back of a gritty 3-2 win over Serbia and was booked to give Portugal a fine run but it didn’t take long for them to be picked apart by a flamboyant Portuguese side with points to prove.
Goncalo Ramos came through for the Portuguese and confirmed the manager’s sentiments with a hattrick, the first time a player is scoring three times in a game throughout this tournament. Pepe, Raphael Guerrero, and Rafael Leao completed the scoring for the Portuguese, and Manuel Akanji scored the consolation goal for the Swiss.
"Today we have to apologize to all Switzerland fans in the name of the team. That was not our true face tonight," Shaqiri said.
Portugal will play Morocco in the quarter-final after the Africans shocked Spain on penalties after a pulsating goalless encounter at the Education Stadium.