Xherdan Shaqiri made certain there was no Swiss disappointment this time around, recording a hat trick to give Switzerland a 3-0 win Wednesday over Honduras at Arena Amazonia in Manaus. The win was more than enough to send them through to the knockout round as the Group E runner-up, with France and Ecuador playing to a scoreless draw in the group's other matchup. Four years ago to the day, Switzerland were eliminated when they played Honduras to a scoreless draw in their group finale of the 2010 World Cup when a win would have sent them through.
Honduras’ tournament comes to an end after losing all three of their group matches, scoring just one goal.
SHAQIRI STAR RISING: The 22-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder was considered one of the world’s up-and-coming players with the potential to emerge from the World Cup as a bonafide star. It hasn’t happened – until Wednesday, when he recorded the first Swiss hat trick at a World Cup since 1954. And his sixth-minute left-footed rocket from the edge of the penalty area to open scoring against Honduras is one of the tournament’s best, not bad for a first-ever World Cup goal.
He hit his second by slotting cleverly past goalkeeper Noel Valladares in the 31st minute on a perfect feed from Josip Drmic stemming from a bad Honduras giveaway at midfield. One of his compatriots knows a thing or two about stardom.
2-0 #SUI keep going— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 25, 2014
The hat trick was completed in the 72nd minute on another Drmic cross after some clever one-v-one work against the Honduras defense on the left wing, setting Shaqiri up for an easy head-on blast.
TOUGH ASK FOR HONDURAS: Los Catrachos came into the match needing perhaps more than could be expected for a side yet to win at the World Cup and who came into the tournament without a goal since 1982. Honduras needed a win, a France loss and a ton of goals to win a tiebreaker scenario. It wasn’t to be, and Honduras, the final CONCACAF qualifier, are now winless in nine World Cup matches. Making matters worse, forward Carlo Costly, who scored Honduras’ only goal of the tournament, had to come out in the first half due to injury.
0 - #HON have never won against European opposition at the World Cup (D3 L3). Challenge.— OptaJack (@OptaJack) June 25, 2014
HONDURAS HARD DONE? Jerry Palacios, who came on for Costly in the first half, got loose in the box in the 62nd minute and was sent tumbling to the ground as Swiss central defender Johan Djourou clipped him from behind. Head referee Nestor Pitana, however, wasn’t impressed by the contact and no foul was called.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Shaqiri, Switzerland. You score a hat trick, you get Man of the Match. After his World Cup is over, next stop will be the MLS All-Star Game when Bayern Munich come to Portland’s Providence Park in August.