FIFA World Cup 2022: Presenting the best moments of R16
There were plenty of spell-binding moments in the concluded R16 fixtures of the FIFA World Cup 2022. From Portugal forward Goncalo Ramos' hat-trick on his WC debut, Croatia's thrilling win by penalties over Japan, or Brazil's annihilation of South Korea. The action now shifts to the quarter-finals, starting later this evening. Ahead of that, we look at the best moments from R16.
Ramos proves to be a handful for Switzerland
Ramos entered the record books on his WC debut against Murat Yakin's Switzerland. The Benfica forward, who replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting XI, upped Portugal 1-0 in the 17th minute. The game was done and dusted post-half-time when Ramos swooped near post on Diogo Dalot's low cross. Ramos set up Raphael Guerriero in Portugal's fifth, while a powerful strike fetched him a third.
Messi shines in his 1,000th career appearance
Argentina rode on Lionel Messi's heroics as they floored Australia 2-1 in an enthralling duel. Making his 1,000th career appearance, the former Barcelona ace got his free-kick denied by Harry Souttar but scored after Nicolas Otamendi teed him up. Argentina doubled the lead post-half-time and survived an own goal to sail through. It was Messi's 789th career goal and 94th in the Argentine outfit.
Morocco stun Spain to storm into quarter-finals
It was one of the most surprising results of the tournament. Spain dominated the possessions, but Morocco offered a genuine threat and even missed a potential game-winner in the extra time to remain goalless. In the shoot-out, La Roja failed to convert each of their three penalties, with Yassine Bounou saving two and Achraf Hakimi's game-winning Panenka knocking Spain out of the World Cup.
Neymar returns with a bang!
Neymar was ruled out of Brazil's last two group-stage fixtures in the Qatar World Cup. He picked up an ankle injury in their opening game against Serbia. Neymar made an astounding return in Brazil's 4-1 thrashing of South Korea. He turned provider as Vinicius Junior opened Brazil's account. Neymar's penalty doubled the lead soon, racing him to 76 international goals for the Selecao.
Giroud, Mbappe enter record books for France
Reigning champions France commanded a 3-1 win over Poland. Olivier Giroud was the architect of the same, with the veteran's left-footed strike getting France 1-0 in the 44th minute. With that, Giroud became France's all-time scorer in international football. Kylian Mbappe completed a brace post-half-time, racing to nine WC goals and surpassing Ronaldo and Diego Maradona (8 each) while equalling Messi.