January 27, 2023

Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri apologized to their fans after being humiliatedly dumped from the World Cup as they suffered a 6-1 defeat to rampant Portugal in the round of 16 at Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.

Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick, with Pepe, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao also on the scoresheet as Portugal put Switzerland to the sword to storm into their first World Cup quarter-final since 2006.

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Portugal coach Fernando Santos benched Cristiano Ronaldo and was rewarded with a much slicker and more artful performance from his team than anything they had shown in the group stage as Switzerland were outplayed in every part of the pitch.

“Today we have to apologize to all Swiss fans on behalf of the team. That was not our true face tonight,” said Shaqiri.

“We are very disappointed. We showed our limits tonight. The coach had given us a plan, but it didn’t work for us. We lost the game in the first half and were always one step too late.”

Swiss coach Murat Yakin, whose contract with the national team has two years left, said Portugal had surprised his side.

“We must accept this defeat and congratulate Portugal,” he said. They were the best team tonight. They surprised us.”

“We lost a game today, but that doesn’t mean we have to be too pessimistic and criticize everything. The team has shown great team spirit.

“But this defeat hurts. The score and the way of losing makes me sad.”

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Switzerland have not reached the last eight at the World Cup since 1954, but Yakin added that his side could be proud of their Qatar journey and need to find a way to keep moving forward.

“We only lost one game, why question everything?” he said. “It’s true that we didn’t live up to our fans’ expectations, but we can look back with pride on our journey in this World Cup.

“Now we have to look to the future.”

Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer said he was not mentally strong enough during the match.

“We have not shown the mentality that we usually bring to the field,” he added. “It’s a very bitter evening. We gave Portugal way too much space. I didn’t look too good in a few situations either.

“This is not the way to survive against such opponents.”

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