Portugal 6-1 Switzerland: World Cup 2022 last 16 – as it happened

Last modified: 09: 17 PM GMT+0

The 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos, selected ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, scored a fairytale hat-trick as an exhilarating Portugal ran riot

That’s it for the last 16. Thanks for all your company and emails, not just tonight but throughout the last however many days of non-stop football it’s been. Enjoy the time off; see you on Friday for Croatia v Brazil. Goodnight!

The quarter-final line-up


  • Croatia v Brazil (3pm GMT)

  • Netherlands v Argentina (7pm)


  • Morocco v Portugal (3pm)

  • England v France (7pm)

When you consider the context, I think Ramos’s hat-trick is the best – or at least the most notable – at a World Cup since Paolo Rossi’s against Brazil in 1982. That might be recency bias, but I’m not sure any of the subsequent hat-tricks – not even Gary Lineker in 1986 – match it for sheer goshdarn narrative.

One thing is undeniable: it’s the first in a World Cup knockout game since Tomas Skuhravy’s hat-trick of headers against Costa Rica in 1990.

“Two days without World Cup football?” weeps Kári Tulinius. “How will we cope?”

Well, if you’re in the UK, ITVX has about 30 World Cup classics, in full, with the original frigging commentary.

At 21, Goncalo Ramos is the youngest player to score a World Cup hat-trick since Florian Albert in 1962.

Full time: Portugal 6-1 Switzerland

No CR7, but six goals for a stylish, swaggering Portugal. They played some exhilarating football, maybe the best we’ve seen in this tournament, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a fairytale hat-trick in his first full game for his country.

The other goals, all crackers in their own way, came from Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao. Switzerland are a decent side, but they were taken apart.

Portugal will now play Morocco, with France or England waiting in the semi-final if they get through. On that form, they could win the whole thing.

Goncalo Ramos gets the match ball.
Goncalo Ramos gets the match ball. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters


The substitute Rafael Leao scores a beauty. He played a neat one-two with Guerreiro, cut inside on the left edge of the box and whipped a curling shot around the flat-footed Sommer. Lovely goal.

GOAL! Portugal 6-1 Switzerland (Leao 90+2)


Rafael Leao scores.
Rafael Leao puts the cherry on the icing etc. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters


90+1 min There will be four added minutes.

89 min Ardon Jashari replaces Breel Embolo, who has probably been Switzerland’s best player at this World Cup.


89 min “It’s silly to belittle Ronaldo’s career as he clearly is one of the all time greats,” says Espen Bommen, “but it’s interesting that Portugal’s biggest success, the Euro win, and their best game, because I think today qualifies as that, has come without him on the pitch.”

I’d say that’s just coincidence, as he got them to the final of Euro 2016. This is different though – the team just looks better without him. He could still have an impact on this tournament from the bench, though, a 124th-minute winner against England in the semi-finals maybe.


87 min Rafael Leao replaces Bruno Fernandes.

85 min “Actually I would not mind if Portugal met Argentina in the final,” says João Melo, “and Messi and Ronaldo got involved in a fight during the game and were both red carded simultaneously for it.”

And then walked down the tunnel, arm in arm, off into the new Saudi Arabian tourism advert sunset.

84 min: Ronaldo has a goal disallowed! To be fair, he knew he was offside. He took it well, rattling a left-footed shot past Sommer, but he was about four yards offside when the ball was played through.

Ronaldo is offside
No goal for CR7 Photograph: Suhaib Salem/Reuters


83 min “Why keep slagging on CR?” says John Steppling. “Great story with Ramos, but Ronaldo has been a superb player for a decade. Of course people cheer and they should. Doesn’t make them idiots. Makes you an idiot.”

I was talking about the circus generally – to which I’ve also contributed – not Ronaldo. But I appreciate the pep talk and self-esteem boost.

81 min: Portugal substitution Bernardo Silva, quietly classy throughout, is replaced by Ruben Neves.

81 min Embolo’s extravagant scissor kick from the edge of the area goes a few yards wide. It hit Dalot’s noggin en route, though I don’t think it was on target. Shaqiri’s corner is headed over at the near post by Xhaka. That was a chance.

79 min It’s petering out now. The main point of interest, rightly or wrongly, is whether Cristiano Ronaldo can join Lionel Messi in scoring his first goal in a World Cup knockout tie.

76 min And pings the free-kick straight into the wall. He caught it sweetly, and there was a dull thud as it hit some poor sod in the wall.

76 min Bernardo Silva is fouled 25 yards from goal. Ronaldo marks out his run…

75 min There are loud cheers every time Ronaldo gets within five yards of the ball. It’s actually a bit weird, like a Bros concert in 1988.

74 min: Triple change for Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo, Vitinha and Ricardo Horta replace Joao Felix, Goncalo Ramos, Otavio. There are wild cheers as he runs onto the field, much wilder than at any stage of the actual game, DURING WHICH A YOUNG MAN SCORED ONE OF THE GREAT WORLD CUP HAT-TRICKS YOU EEJITS.

The crowd go crazy as Vitinha comes on for Portugal.
The crowd go crazy as Vitinha comes on for Portugal. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA


73 min “Siri: show me how a really storied career can end really badly,” says Paul Cockburn.

It’s not over yet. Wait till he scores the winner against Argentina in the final and then suplexes Messi.


72 min That’s the first hat-trick of this World Cup. There were only two in 2018, actually: Harry Kane against Panama and, yep, Cristiano Ronaldo against Spain.

70 min Guerreiro’s volleyed cross just evades the flying Fernandes at the far post. Portugal have played sheer, delightful football tonight.

68 min It’s worth repeating: Goncalo Ramos is 21 years old, in place of Cristiano Ronaldo, starting his first game in international football, in place of Cristiano Ronaldo, in a World Cup knockout game, in place of Cristiano Ronaldo, for a team who haven’t won a World Cup knockout game in 16 years.

This really is incredible. Joao Felix slipped him in with a simple pass, and Ramos dinked the ball gently over the outrushing Sommer. Who writes his scripts?

GOAL! Portugal 5-1 Switzerland (Ramos 67)

Goncalo Ramos completes a hat-trick that is going straight into World Cup folklore!

Goncalo Ramos lifts the ball over Sommer to complete his hat-trick.
Goncalo Ramos lifts the ball over Sommer to complete his hat-trick. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters


66 min: Switzerland substitution Noah Okafor replaces Vargas.

66 min Switzerland are still buzzing around in attack, hoping to give Portugal something to think about. Shaqiri shoots miles over from the right edge of the box and then looks at the pitch in disgust.

65 min The hypnotic chanting of ‘Ronaldo’/‘Baldy’ continues. No sign yet that’s coming on. It’s slightly sad, on both sides, that Portugal are 4-1 up in a knockout game, having played some sensational stuff, and all we’re talking about is a once great forward who is now past it.

64 min This is the full quarter-final line-up.


  • Croatia v Brazil (3pm GMT)

  • Netherlands v Argentina (7pm)


  • Morocco v Portugal (3pm)

  • England v France (7pm)

63 min “Portugal playing like a box of Quality Street without the toffee,” says Jim Brown. “So much better.”

61 min I think the crowd are calling for Ronaldo. Either that or Gianni Infantino has appeared again and they’re singing “Baldy!”

(I say this as a member of that particular community.)

60 min “Dear Rob,” says Michael Meagher. You wrote ‘11 min Neither team is playing at full pelt. It’s as if they know this is going to penalties and want to conserve a bit of energy.’ That entry has aged well. What? Oh.”

We can’t get it right all the time, or indeed some of it. I thought this was certain to at least go to extra-time.

59 min The substitute Comert is booked for an arm to the face of Bruno Fernandes.

Shaqiri’s nasty inswinging corner flicked off the head of Ramos – another assist for him – and Akanji volleyed into an empty net at the far post.

GOAL! Portugal 4-1 Switzerland (Akanji 58)

Manuel Akanji scores Switzerland’s first goal in a World Cup knockout game since 1954.

Manuel Akanji gets a consolation for Switzerland.
Manuel Akanji gets a consolation for Switzerland. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters


57 min Goncalo Ramos will get the headlines tomorrow – you’re darn tootin – but Joao Felix has been delightful.

Never mind CR7; Portugal could score seven here. That was a beauty. Joao Felix played a give-and-go with Otavio on the halfway line, shuffled elegantly past a defender and zipped the ball into Ramos. He turned and played in the left-back Guerreiro, who rammed the ball into the roof of the net.


GOAL! Portugal 4-0 Switzerland (Guerreiro 55)

What a glorious team goal!

Raphael Guerreiro finishes it off. Glorious stuff from Portugal.
Raphael Guerreiro finishes it off. Glorious stuff from Portugal. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters
Raphael Guerreiro scores a wonderful fourth for Portugal after some slick passing.
Raphael Guerreiro scores a wonderful fourth for Portugal after some slick passing. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters


54 min: Double substitution for Switzerland Denis Zakaria and Haris Seferovic replace Djibril Sow and Remo Freuler.

54 min Fernandes’s corner is headed down by Pepe and blocked by Rodriguez. I don’t think it was on target.

53 min Joao Felix’s shot takes a deflection off Akanji and goes behind for a corner. So much for this being a long night; Portugal are rampant.

53 min So, Portugal will play Morocco in the third quarter-final (Saturday, 3pm GMT). And the winners of that game will play France or England in the semi-final.

Goncalo Ramos has got his second goal, and right now he wouldn’t be able to stop smiling if he tried. He’s not trying. The goal was made by Dalot, who gave Vargas a taste of his own by zipping down the right and driving a cross to the near post. Ramos got in front of Comert (I think) and flicked an instinctive finish that went through Sommer and into the net.

GOAL! Portugal 3-0 Switzerland (Ramos 50)

This is turning into one of the great World Cup stories!

Goncalo Ramos can’t believe it. What a night for the 21 year old.
Goncalo Ramos can’t believe it. What a night for the 21 year old. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters
Goncalo Ramos scores the third goal for Portugal. Game over.
Goncalo Ramos scores the third goal for Portugal. Game over. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters


49 min An early corner down the left for Portugal. Bernardo Silva’s outswinger is headed across goal and booted clear by Rodriguez.

There was a huge cheer around the ground just before the corner was taken. Either Ronaldo is warming up or Gianni Infantino has appeared on the big screen.

48 min “Perhaps Ronaldo’s decline started with the loss of his son (and hospitalisation of his daughter),” says Ellen Bohan, “which he didn’t have a lot of time to recover from - not that you ever fully recover from that.”

Good point. There have signs of physical decline too but goodness knows what that does to even somebody as mentally tough as Ronaldo. It’s one of the main reasons why I’m a bit uneasy with all the schadenfreude.

47 min Switzerland have reverted to 4-2-3-1.

47 min The last time Portugal won a World Cup knockout game, Jamie Carragher was a specialist penalty-taker.


46 min Peep peep!

Switzerland have made a half-time substitution Fabian Schar, who was unwell in the build-up to the game, is replaced by Eray Comert.

Fabian Schar is a really good defender. Alas, he did not defend really well for either goal.

Fabian Schar looked off the pace in the first-half.
Fabian Schar looked off the pace in the first-half. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


“Switzerland must be gutted with Ronaldo’s behaviour,” says Brendan Large. “If he’d only behaved like a grown up after being subbed in the last game, they would surely be doing better in this game.”

I still can’t quite believe how much he has declined in the last few months.

Ramos and Pepe, eh

Half time: Portugal 2-0 Switzerland

Whether it was a tactical move or a disciplinary measure, Fernando Santos’s decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo was entirely vindicated by a dominant, dynamic first-half performance from Portugal.

Goncalo Ramos, the youngster who replaced Ronaldo, scored a thrilling first goal before Pepe, almost twice his age, made it two with an emphatic header.

Switzerland, who switched to a back three, were surprisingly compliant. They’ve recovered from worse positions, but they need a goal quicksmart at the start of the second half.


45+1 min There will be four minutes of added time.

45 min Joao Felix, who has had a marvellous first half, dribbles joyously past three players and then lends the ball to Fernandes. He tries a scooped return pass but doesn’t enough on it.

45 min “Having spent over ten years living in Portugal, I’d caution against imagining that Ronaldo is entirely adored there,” says Geoff Wignall. “For sure he has plenty of fans but it’s by no means universal (not that you’d know it from the Portuguese media). It is after all a country and populace often characterized by a quiet modesty.

“Even at the time of the Euros victory in 2016, there were many who saw his injury and substitution in the final as timely and significant for the outcome. That wasn’t just hindsight either: I was watching in a local bar where the immediate reaction from some was very much along ‘now we can be a team’ lines. Just saying.”

43 min: Chance for Portugal! Sommer makes a terrific save from Ramos! Portugal broke at speed, with the referee playing an excellent advantage when Joao Felix was taken out by Schar. Eventually Fernandes angled a classy through ball to Ramos, whose first-time shot back across goal was pushed round by Sommer. That’s a fine save.

Schar is booked for the foul on Joao Felix.


41 min Fernandes shoots over from 25 yards.

40 min A few of you have mentioned the red-on-red graphics on the liveblog page. I think it’s done independently so I doubt it’s something that can be changed at a stroke, but I’ll mention it for future games. Sorry for the inconvenience/awfulness, especially to those of you who are colour-blind.


38 min: Good save by Costa! Switzerland almost pull one back. Fernandes hammers a cross that is pushed away unconvincingly by Costa, but he recovers well to partially block Freuler’s follow-up header. Dalot completes the job by booting the loose ball clear.

Diogo Costa does well to deny Switzerland's Remo Freuler.
Diogo Costa does well to deny Switzerland's Remo Freuler. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters


36 min Switzerland are a tough, resourceful bunch – they came from 3-1 down to put France out at the last European Championship – but at the moment they are struggling. It was close until Ramos’s goal; since then Portugal have been well on top.

35 min Cristiano Ronaldo certianly enjoyed that goal, charging down the touchline to join the huddle. I don’t know why I’m talking about this, but, you know.

34 min Pepe is the second oldest goalscorer at the World Cup, behind only Albert Roger Miller.

Pepe, who is 40 in February, has doubled Portugal’s lead. Fernandes curled a pacy, outswinging corner from the right towards the six-yard line, where Pepe got between Akanji and Schar to slam a header past Sommer.


GOAL! Portugal 2-0 Switzerland (Pepe 33)

The old man makes it two with a storming header!

Pepe celebrates making it two-nil.
He’s still got it. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Pepe powers a header past Sommer!
Pepe powers a header past Sommer! Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters


32 min: Just wide from Schar! Just wide of his own goal, that is. Joao Felix curls a wicked inswinging cross towards Ramos that is headed past the far post by Schar. He had to go for it with Ramos waiting behind him to score a second.

30 min The resulting free-kick is over 30 yards from goal, too far out for a shot.

Or not. Shaqiri whips a fantastic free-kick over the wall that is pushed round the post by the diving Diogo Costa. I don’t think it was going in – it would have hit the post – but Costa was right to take no chances.


29 min Embolo rolls Ruben Dias superbly on the halfway line. Dias tries to pull him back him about four times, until eventually Embolo just stops playing and the referee gives a free-kick.

27 min Vargas turns Dalot really neatly on the left, but Dalot recovers excellently to win the ball. That’s a decent contest.

25 min Fabian Schar is receiving treatment, possibly for shellshock after that goal from Ramos.


Who saw that coming from Goncalo Ramos!! 🇵🇹

The 21-year-old only had 35 minutes of international experience before tonight... 👀#ITVFootball | #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/gll8GEBi2d

— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 6, 2022

22 min Joao Felix floats a beautiful pass towards Ramos in the inside-left channel. He stumbles inside Schar and droves a low shot from 20 yards that is too close to Sommer.

22 min Portugal have a swagger on now. The underlapping Guerreiro plays a one-two with Bernardo Silva and crosses towards Ramos. The ball is cleared as far as Otavio, who cracks a decent shot from 25 yards that bounces straight through to Sommer.

20 min What a comedown from the Morocco kits ...” says Robyn Schelenz. “This Portugal strip looks bizarre.”

19 min The camera cuts to Ronaldo on the bench. He’s impassive, hand on his chin, or should be it chin on his hand. Either way, I’d pay top dollar for that internal monologue.

This is some story. Goncalo Ramos is 21, making his first international start, ahead of the greatest player in Portugal’s history, and now he has put them in front with a belter. Nothing much looked on when Joao Felix fed the ball into him, 12 yards out with his back to goal and Schar behind him. He shifted the ball onto his left foot, which made the angle even tighter, then suddenly roasted a rising drive that beat Sommer for pace at the near post.


GOAL! Portugal 1-0 Switzerland (Ramos 17)

Goncalo Ramos blasts Portugal into the lead!

Goncalo Ramos wheels away in celebration.
Goncalo Ramos wheels away in celebration. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Pick that out! Goncalo Ramos scores the first goal for Portugal!
Pick that out! Goncalo Ramos scores the first goal for Portugal! Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters


15 min Vargas tries to run Dalot, who times his lunging tackle perfectly. You’d have got long odds, six months ago, that he’d be keeping Joao Cancelo out of the Portugal team.

13 min Turns out you can’t trust Switzerland. The ITV commentator Clive Tyldseley has pointed out that Ricardo Rodriguez is playing in a back three, with Edimilson Fernandes and Ruben Vargas (I think) as wing-backs. I’m done with tactics, I’m sick of being lied to.

11 min Neither team is playing at full pelt. It’s as if they know this is going to penalties and want to conserve a bit of energy.

8 min “Perhaps Ronaldo will throw his toys out of the pram,” says John Peeler, “and begin his dissent into irrelebance...”

Erm, I think you mis-spelt a couple of words there John.

7 min A pretty cagey start. I’m still trying to work out Portugal’s formation, which I’ve now decided is 4-2-3-1 with Bernardo Silva as the No10.

Switzerland’s is definitely 4-2-3-1. You can trust those lads.


6 min “Gianni Infantino,” begins Tony Rutt, “always looks as though he would rather be watching horse jumping.”

Gianni Infantino
Gianni Infantino, cooking up a 48-team Badminton Horse trials. Photograph: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images


5 min Embolo collects a routine header forward on the edge of the Portugal area and makes space for a shot that hits Pepe and goes behind.

4 min Embolo goes down after wearing an elbow from Ruben Dias. He’s not happy at all, and I can understand why – Dias was trying to shepherd the ball out but did so in a slightly overzealous manner. He might have been booked for that.

Breel Embolo gets the magic spray treatment.
Breel Embolo gets the magic spray treatment. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters


3 min Joao Felix plays a sharp pass into the area towards Bruno Fernandes, who surprisingly miscontrols it. The Portugal formation looks more like a midfield diamond, maybe even a bloody pentagon if you include Joao Felix dropping off.

2 min And now it’s time for the obligatory cut to Gianni Infantino.

2 min “Rob, this is crazy,” says Mary Waltz. “Italy doesn’t make it to WC, Germany, Belgium eliminated in Group. Spain drops first knockout game. The world turned upside down. And Portugal’s manager has giant cojones. It’s the correct decision but for a Portugal manager to sit down Portugal’s patron saint is bravery personified.”

1 min Peep peep! Switzerland kick off from left to right as I/we watch.

The players line up for the anthems. Inevitably the camera homes in on Ronaldo, who belts it out with plenty of gusto. I’d pay a lot of money to hear his internal monologue over the next few hours.

Piers Morgan finding out Ronaldo isn’t playing.
Piers Morgan finding out Ronaldo isn’t playing. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA


“Smart bit of management from Santos I say - it being Ronnie’s last shot at World Cup glory, the manager has wagered that he can drop the player/show everyone who’s boss, knowing CR has nothing to gain and everything to lose from showing any kind of descent,” says Jim Crane. “Also, no bad thing to have a fired-up striker to send on with 20 to go.”

That’s my favourite typo of the tournament so far.

Dead rubbers aside, the last time Cristiano Ronaldo was left out of the Portugal side at a major tournament was when they beat Russia in the group stage of Euro 2004 – that’s 6,747 days ago.

And I think you’ve got a point, Jamie

Would Santos the manager of Portugal drop #Ronaldo just because of his reaction to being subbed in the last game?
A manager at club level maybe yes.
With possibly 3 games to a WC final🤔
I think he has been left out because of his performances not his reaction. #WorldCup2022

— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 6, 2022

Here’s Sid Lowe’s report on Morocco’s famous victory

“Ronaldo on the bench?” sniffs Matt Dony. “Man, Football Twitter is going to be pretty much “unusable for the next few hours…”

You mis-spelt ‘millennia’.

Bench warmer: Cristiano Ronaldo looks on.
Bench warmer: Cristiano Ronaldo looks on. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images


“More than Rashford, it is Dalot’s emergence that reflects well on Erik ten Hag’s coaching,” says Digvijay Yadav. “As far as Ronaldo is concerned, you are right, but strangely enough this gives him a better chance to win this World Cup. He could easily come off the bench to finish off ties or score from set pieces (head not feet). Not that he’d see it that way.”

Yeah, I’ve thought this for a while. He’s addicted to glory, and there’s a helluva lot of that on offer to substitutes these days. Tim de Lisle articulated it very well here. It wouldn’t be remotely surprising if he scored the winner tonight.


Morocco’s winning penalty was one for the books. Achraf Hakimi, born in Spain, kissed the most nonchalant Panenka past the diving Unai Simon. Whatever happens for the rest of the tournament, Qatar 2022 will forever be associated with Morocco.

Poor Spain have gone out of the last three tournaments on penalties.

Born in Madrid he knocks Spain out!! 🇲🇦🇪🇸

Achraf Hakimi wins the penalty shoot-out with a panenka to see Spain out of the competition! 😲#ITVFootball | #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/QWWynN6821

— ITV Football (@itvfootball) December 6, 2022


The teams

Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos replaces Ronaldo up front for Portugal, one of eight changes from the defeat to South Korea on Friday. The survivors are Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot (who is preferred to Joao Cancelo) and Pepe.

Switzerland make two changes from the win over Serbia. Edimilison Fernandes replaces Silvan Widmer at right-back, and the fit-again Yann Sommer returns in goal.

Portugal (4-2-3-1ish) Costa; Dalot, Pepe, Dias, Guerreiro; Carvalho, Otavio; Fernandes, B Silva, Felix; Ramos.
Substitutes: Patricio, Palhinha, Ronaldo, Andre Silva, Sa, Leao, Vitinha, Mario, Neves, Cancelo, Horta, Nunes, Antonio Silva.

Switzerland (4-2-3-1) Sommer; Fernandes, Schar, Akanji, Rodriguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo.
Substitutes: Elvedi, Zakaria, Seferovic, Steffen, Omlin, Aebischer, Fassnacht, Comert, Okafor, Frei, Kobel, Kohn, Rieder, Jashari.

Referee Cesar Arturo Ramos Palazuelos (Mexico)




Full time: Morocco 0-0 Spain (3-0 pens) Glorious scenes at the Education City Stadium, where Morocco have made history by reaching the last eight of the World Cup for the first time.

Spain suffered the usual problems in front of goal. They couldn’t score in normal time – or even in the penalty shootout, when they missed three out of three.

Morocco will now play Portugal or Switzerland for a place in the semi-bloody-finals.


Why Cristiano Ronaldo has been dropped (possibly)

Team news: Ronaldo on the bench

Fernando Santos wasn’t joking: he’s dropped Cristiano Ronaldo, apparently in response to Ronaldo effing and jeffing when he was taken off against South Korea. Either that or he has used Ronaldo’s outburst as an excuse to drop a player who is sadly past it.

We’ll have the full line-ups shortly.

Ronaldo dropped, confirmed

— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) December 6, 2022
A Manchester United fan has a message for Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo prior to the FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen match .
A Manchester United fan has a message for Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo prior to the FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen match . Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA


Tonight’s winner will play Morocco or Spain in the quarter-finals. That match is about to go penalties, and John Brewin politely requests your company.

The story so far

Portugal turned it on the second half to beat Ghana 3-2 and Uruguay 2-0 and qualify with a game to spare. A much-changed side lost 2-1 to South Korea, but they still won the group.

Switzerland did the necessary against Cameroon, with Breel Embolo scoring the only goal against the country of his birth. Then they lost a tight game to Brazil, which set up a winner-takes-all clash with Serbia. Switzerland had the draw, too, but they didn’t need it: they came from behind to win a thrilling, spiky game 3-2.


Let’s get one thing clear from the start: this could be a long night. With the possible exception of Japan v Croatia – and look how that turned out – Portugal v Switzerland always felt like the closest match in the last 16. I’m not saying we should jump straight to the penalty shootout right now, but I’m not holding out much hope of watching The White Lotus at 9pm.

Whether it’s via penalties or not, one of these sides will achieve something pretty rare in the next few hours. Switzerland haven’t won a World Cup knockout game – or even scored a goal in one – since 1954, and Portugal, surprisingly for such a celebrated football nation, have only reached the last eight on two occasions. The first was in 1966, Eusebio and all that, and the second in 2006. There’s one survivor from that tournament in the current squad; you know his name.

Kick off 7pm in Lisbon and London, 8pm in Bern, 10pm in Lusail.



Rob Smyth

The GuardianTramp

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