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World Cup

  • June 25, 2014
  • • 4:00 PM
  • • Arena da Amazônia, Manaus, Amazonas
  • Referee: N. Pitana
  • • Attendance: 40322

Honduras 0-3 Switzerland: Stunning Shaqiri hat trick seals last-16 spot

Honduras 0-3 Switzerland: Stunning Shaqiri hat trick seals last-16 spot

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The Bayern Munich man answered a few critics with a brilliant treble in Manaus to hand Ottmar Hitzfeld's side the three points it needed to leapfrog Ecuador.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat trick as Switzerland sealed a place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup by beating Honduras 3-0 in Manaus.

He may not be a regular starter at Bayern Munich, but the young winger remains the focal point of a Swiss side that has established itself as an emerging force.

The 22-year-old rose to the occasion when it mattered on Wednesday, his tour de force securing a win that meant Switzerland progressed from Group E behind France, which drew 0-0 with Ecuador to ensure the South American nation crashed out.

With his side smarting from a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of France last Friday, Shaqiri settled any nerves when he scored a sixth-minute thunderbolt before sliding home a second before halftime.

He then capped his impressive display with a third in the 71st minute, setting up a mouth-watering clash with Argentina next Tuesday.

In stark contrast, Honduras suffered the ignominy of being eliminated without a single point to its name.

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Determined to right the wrongs of the France nightmare, Switzerland came flying out of the blocks as Shaqiri had a goal-bound effort blocked.

His first World Cup goal would come soon after, though, and it was worth the wait.

After cutting inside from the right wing, the lively midfielder unleashed a powerful, left-footed effort into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.

Shaqiri's one-man show continued for much of the opening exchanges, epitomized when he fired just wide midway through the first half.

Honduras started to offer an attacking threat and its verve showed up some nerves in the Switzerland back line, especially from set pieces.

Such trepidation almost brought about an equalizer when Brayan Beckeles capitalized on the Swiss' inability to clear a corner by volleying just wide on the swivel.

But Shaqiri showed his class once again in the 31st minute when Victor Bernardez's failure to intercept a searching ball freed Josip Drmic, who slipped a pass inside for the 22-year-old to slide the ball home.

Determined to not go out with a whimper, Honduras began strongly after the break with Ricardo Rodriguez required to make a sliding clearance off the line after Jerry Bengtson had chipped the onrushing Diego Benaglio.

Shaqiri was on hand to show another flash of Switzerland’s threat at the other end, only to be denied by Noel Valladares – who was quickly off his line to keep out his effort.

Honduras continued to battle away and was left feeling aggrieved as a penalty appeal was turned down when Johnny Palacios went down under a challenge from Johan Djourou.

Disgruntlement quickly turned to dejection, however, when Shaqiri completed his treble.

Drmic was again the provider, racing on to Rodriguez's searching long ball before jinking past Bernardez and sliding across a fine delivery that left Shaqiri with the simplest of tap-ins.