Cristiano Ronaldo was named on Portugal’s bench again as Fernando Santos stuck with Goncalo Ramos for the World Cup quarter-final against Morocco.
Ronaldo was dropped to the bench for Portugal’s last-16 tie with Switzerland on Tuesday, and Santos’ decision was rewarded as his side cruised to a 6-1 victory.
Benfica striker Ramos, Ronaldo’s replacement in the starting XI, repaid his coach’s faith by scoring a hat-trick and getting an assist, and he retained his place in the team on Saturday at Al Thumama Stadium.
Santos made just one change to the team that beat Switzerland, bringing in Ruben Neves for William Carvalho in midfield.
Chegou a HORA: Este é o nosso 11 Inicial para hoje!
It’s TIME: This is our Starting 11 for today!
— Portugal (@selecaoportugal)
That meant Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo also remained on the bench, with Diogo Dalot preferred at right-back and Raphael Guerreiro keeping his place on the left.
Morocco coach Walid Regragui was forced into two changes, with key defenders Noussair Mazraoui and Nayef Aguerd unavailable. Yahia Attiyat Allah and Jawad El Yamiq came in for the duo.
The Atlas Lions are appearing in the World Cup quarter-finals for the first time, while they are just the fourth African side to reach the last eight in the tournament’s history.