Another surprise from Morocco and major victory for Portugal

Starting in his place, for the first time in this World Cup, and just the second time for Portugal overall, was 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos.
Ramos opened the scoring in the 17th minute, taking a touch after a throw-in then beating Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer with a beauty of a strike at the near post. One-nil, Portugal.
Defender Pepe made a superb run for a cross from a corner, heading the ball in between two defenders, and past the goalkeeper. Two-nil Portugal, 35 minutes in and so it remained at half-time.
But ten minutes into term two, and that gap became a gaping chasm. In the 51st minute, a Digo Dalot pass in along the ground was put into the net by Ramos at the near post. Three-nil.
Then Ramos turned provider four minutes later, setting up Raphael Guerrero’s goal. Four-nil for a rampant Portugal. Manuel Akanji salvaged something for the Swiss in the 58th minute with a goal.

There were cheers when Ronaldo finally appeared as substitute, and more when Rafael Leao scored in stoppage time, taking the score to Portugal 6, Switzerland 1.

Morocco was the last African team left at this World Cup and quarter-finals are rarefied air for African and Arab teams. They’re just a normal part of life for Spain.
That made for an intriguing mix heading into the Round of 16 clashes between these two countries. Spain had plenty of the ball in attack, enjoying more than 75 per cent of possession and completing nearly 1,000 passes.
But this Spanish side lacked a cutting edge, failing to make a plausible shot until the 54th minute. Morocco struggled to get through extra time without conceding but they made it and, after 120 minutes of play, the match was still scoreless and went to a penalty shootout.
Pablo Sarabia hit the post with Spain’s first shot, then Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou saved two kicks. Morocco’s first two kicks went in, and it was two-nil after three kicks each.
Moroccan success with their fourth kick would give them victory. Walking forward to take it was Moroccan star Achraf Hakimi – born in Madrid. Morocco is only the fourth African team to make the quarter-finals of a World Cup and the first since Ghana 12 years ago.
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