Goncalo Ramos made a strong case for being Portugal’s No. 9 by playing a key part in a convincing victory in the Euro 2024 qualifying round.
Cristiano Ronaldo sat back and watched as his replacement went wild. Favored over the Selecao captain, Goncalo Ramos scored twice to set the tone for an 8-0 drubbing of a Luxembourg team that put up little opposition. Portugal was in control from the start and didn’t take long to convert that control into something that could be measured. A tempting cross from Bruno Fernandes into the area, perfectly placed for a Goncalo Inacio header, supplied the spark after his stellar performance against Slovakia. Five minutes later, Ramos strolled through the Luxembourg defense and blasted a shot into the bottom corner for the second goal.
After 30 minutes, Ramos scored again, rippling the net from close range following a sprint and cutback from Rafael Leao. On the cusp of halftime, Inacio scored his second goal of the evening with a superb header to put everything beyond question. After the break, a beating turned into a rout. While substitute Ricardo Horta blasted one into the roof of the net, Diogo Jota scored for himself. Jota, Fernandes, and Joao Felix completed a confident victory for a team that may actually be better off without its top player.
Roberto Martinez’s team, who has now scored 24 times and not given up a goal, stayed five points ahead of Slovakia and moved eight ahead of Luxembourg. The top two in each group qualify automatically.