Lusail [Qatar], December 7 (ANI): Cristiano Ronaldo's replacement Goncalo Ramos and evergreen star Pepe fired goals that put Portugal at 2-0 lead over Switzerland at the end of the first half of their round of 16 tie of the FIFA World Cup at Lusail on Tuesday. Starting off, Portugal had their star striker Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. This comes after he was angry at being substituted during his side's previous match against South Korea.
Joao Felix made the first attempt at attack from Portugal's side, passing to Bruno Fernandes at the edge of the Swiss box but the latter could not control the ball.
In the fifth minute, the Swiss forward Breel Embolo latched onto a headed pass, went past two defenders but his shot was deflected by Pepe.
The match started slow, with only one shot at goal by the Swiss in the first 13-14 minutes.
In the 17th minute, it was Portugal which got the early lead. Goncalo Ramos, the man who had replaced Ronaldo, came through with a fiery near-post drive, which ended up finding the net despite the acuteness of the angle. Ramos made good use of the pass received from Joao Felix.
In the 25th minute, there was some concern for Switzerland as defender Fabian Schar was down on the ground and received some treatment.
Embolo won a free kick for Switzerland in the 29th minute. Shaqiri took the free kick and whipped a fine effort that went up and over the Portuguese wall, looked to be heading onto the post but Portugal keeper Costa took no chances and collected the ball.
In the 33rd minute, Pepe doubled the lead for Portugal. A brilliant header helped him score and become the oldest scorer at World Cup knockout stages.
In the 35th minute, Felix was involved in another scoring opportunity for Portugal but fumbled it.
Portugal continued to dominate the proceedings. To make things worse, the referee gave a yellow card to Swiss player Fabian Schar for a late foul on Felix.
Four additional minutes of stoppage time were added, with neither side taking advantage of it.
At half-time, the scoreline read 2-0 in favour of Portugal, who also dominated ball possession with 53 per cent as compared to the Swiss' 47 per cent. Portugal had six shots on target while Switzerland took four. (ANI)