Portugal v Switzerland: World Cup 2022 last 16 – live

Key events

GOAL! Portugal 2-0 Switzerland (Pepe 33)

The old man makes it two with a storming header!

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.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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)

Goncalo Ramos


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.

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.


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