HONDURAS 0-3 SWITZERLAND
WEDNESDAY 25TH JUNE – MANAUS
Switzerland went into their final match knowing they had to better Ecuador’s result against France to be sure of qualification and three goals from Xherdan Shaqiri ensured the Swiss progressed.
Within six minutes of action, the Bayern Munich man got the show underway. Collecting the ball on the wing, Shaqiri dipped inside and despite moving away from goal, he let fly on his left foot to send the ball flying past Honduran stopper Noel Valladares. The Olimpia goalkeeper had no chance of getting to it.
Otto Hitzfeld’s men sat off after taking the lead and given the humid conditions in Manaus, it made sense for the Swiss reserving their energy against relatively limited attacking opponents.
The tactic paid off and Shaqiri extended the Swiss lead, finishing coolly past Valladares ending a smart counter-attack move after a well timed pass by Josip Drmic just after the half hour mark.
The Hondurans were restricted to their customary approach of rough house challenges and Wigan Athletic’s Roger Espinoza escaped a yellow card despite a ridiculous shoulder challenge that sent Swiss full-back Stephen Lichtsteiner flying.
In a turn up for the books, Honduras were on the wrong side of the challenges when Jerry Palacios was denied a clear cut penalty after Johan Djourou ludicrously bundled over the striker. The referee waved away any claims despite the Honduran protests. Honduras were further punished by the ruthless Switzerland when the relentless Shaqiri netted his hat-trick on 71 minutes, the midfielder latching onto another Drmic pass to roll home the easiest of finishes.
On 71 minutes, it was game, set and match for Switzerland when Shaqiri netted his hat-trick, with the midfielder latching onto another Drmic pass to roll home the easiest of finishes.
With Ecuador held to a stalemate by France in Rio de Janeiro it meant Hitzfeld’s men finished as runners up in Group E behind Les Blues and they will meet Argentina in the knock out round.
HONDURAS: Valladares, Figueroa, Bernardez, J Garcia (Najar 77), Palacios (Costly 40), Bengtson, Costly, B Garcia, Espinoza (Chaves 46), Claros, Beckeles.
BOOKINGS: Palacios 66.
SWITZERLAND: Benaglio, Lichtsteiner, Schar, Djourou, Rodriguez, Inler, Xhaka (Lang 77), Behrami, Shaqiri (Dzemaili 87), Mehmedi, Drmic (Seferovic 73).
GOALS: Shaqiri 6, 31 & 71.
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