Portugal flourish with out Ronaldo
Goncalo Ramos is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring for Portugal
A free-kick was received and the ball dutifully tossed to Cristiano Ronaldo. The crowd had chanted for his introduction and cheered wildly when it got here. Here he was over the ball, that theatrical stance. The shot hit the wall. Play might resume.
It was an illuminating passage of play in its personal means, coming because it did along with his crew 4-1 up. The recreation had been received in – perhaps even due to – his absence. The distinction between the Ronaldo present and the Portugal present that preceded it was hanging.
- Portugal 6-1 Switzerland – Match report
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
Replaced by Goncalo Ramos, ostensibly because of his response to being substituted in opposition to South Korea, what adopted was a reminder that there are different abilities on this squad. Talents that confirmed in opposition to Switzerland that they may shine given the possibility.
Of course, Portugal succeeding with out Ronaldo is nothing new. The most well-known victory within the nation’s historical past got here within the ultimate of Euro 2016 following his early harm. But that was stoicism. This was one thing else. This was a thrashing. This was a crew unleashed.
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Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after having an effort dominated out for offside
Even so, no person, not even Fernando Santos with all that he has seen within the recreation, might have anticipated what adopted. The first hat-trick of the match. The nation’s greatest win of the knockout phases. World Cup hopes not simply alive however revitalised, resurgent.
It was Ramos’ day however perhaps it might but be Portugal’s match. As the world’s media appeared to the bench, Ronaldo nonetheless owned the digital camera however Joao Felix owned the soccer. Alongside Bruno Fernandes, they relished Ramos’ motion forward of them.
There was nonetheless time for Ronaldo to crash the ball into the web from an offside place, a glimpse of the ending potential that has not left him. But when Rafael Leao added the sixth, the message couldn’t have been clearer. This present will go on with out him.
Bono brilliance however Amrabat embodies collective spirit
Morocco gamers rejoice their shootout win
Spain’s penalty curse continues to plague them, however Morocco made a mockery of their unfancied standing. The Atlas Lions arrived on the shootout with their very own monkey on their again having misplaced all 4 of their earlier penalty showdowns, the newest being in opposition to Algeria in final 12 months’s Arab Cup.
But because of Bono’s brilliance they’d change into simply the fourth African facet to achieve the quarter-final of a World Cup after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.
- Morocco 0-0 Spain – Morocco win 3-0 on pens: Match report
- How the groups lined up | Match stats
- World Cup outcomes | Fixtures
- Full schedule for Qatar 2022 | Download the Sky Sports App
Bono, who missed a gaggle recreation simply earlier than kick-off in opposition to Belgium via sickness, was lifted to the heavens after his heroics and Walid Regragui has Morocco reaching for the sky.
The first African man to guide a facet to the final eight, and this was a collective effort. Sofyan Amrabat coated each blade of grass and is primed to be included within the crew of the match.
Morocco's coach Walid Regragui is thrown within the air
Back in the summertime, Morocco appeared in disarray after a heavy pleasant defeat to USA, however only one objective conceded within the seven video games since he took cost has led to historical past being made.
For the primary time, they will look ahead to a quarter-final look on the World Cup. There was a jig and bumps for Regragui that even Roy Keane would have welcomed.
Spain had been suffocated by the whistles in the course of the shootout. Sergio Busquets received the toss and selected the tip, however it actually did not matter. The Spaniards had been outnumbered on the Education City Stadium, and Madrid-born Achraf Hakimi schooled Unai Simon from the spot to spark joyous scenes.
Bono, the person who has spent nearly his complete senior profession taking part in in Spain, will head again to Sevilla within the coming weeks. A pariah in his personal parish however a king in Casablanca. Football is a humorous previous recreation.
Spain stumble from the spot once more
Spain gamers present their disappointment after shedding on penalties to Morocco
“Over a year ago, in many national camps we told players, ‘You have homework ahead of the World Cup. You must take at least 1,000 penalties with the club’. You can’t just train them when they’re with the national team’.”
Luis Enrique knew Spain must maintain their nerve on the World Cup lengthy earlier than they arrived in Qatar. When the second got here, they stumbled once more.
Spain have change into the primary nation within the match’s historical past to lose 4 penalty shoutouts. They crashed out to Italy within the Euro semi-finals final 12 months and went shocked by Russia on spot kicks on the 2018 World Cup.
Morocco keeper Yassine Bono saves Carlos Soler's penalty
“I don’t think it’s a lottery. If you train often, then the way you take penalties improves. Obviously, you can’t train the pressure and tension, but you can cope with it,” Enrique mentioned 24 hours earlier than their newest penalty heartache.
Back to the coaching floor.
Yakin gamble backfires as Swiss roll over
Switzerland's humiliating defeat was the worst of their World Cup historical past
Switzerland had been just one objective away from qualifying prime of Group G forward of Brazil, so why supervisor Murat Yakin determined to change to a again 5 for their first knockout recreation is a query solely he can reply.
It actually was not one thing his gamers had been ready to overtly defend. “We were all surprised by the system change,” Xherdan Shaqiri advised the press afterwards.
The Swiss had been rocked by the absence of Silvan Widmer, the squad’s solely pure right-back, however altering form and utilizing Edimilson Fernandes – an attacking midfielder – as his replacement by no means appeared the logical resolution.
Yakin has made his title as a tactical maverick, whose unorthodox, daring decision-making has received him extra video games than it has misplaced throughout his managerial profession.
But right here, there is no such thing as a query. There will be no nuance to a 6-1 defeat, the worst in Switzerland’s World Cup historical past.
Something went horribly improper, and after an encouraging group-stage efficiency raised hopes of a primary ever victory within the spherical of 16, all that ambition was introduced crashing again all the way down to earth in just 45 minutes.
“It wasn’t the system,” Yakin mentioned after the sport. The Swiss media actually do not share that opinion. “The defeat is a humiliation for Switzerland, nothing else,” was one newspaper’s damning evaluation. “The manager messed up.”
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