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World Cup 2014

Football: Swiss beat Honduras 3-0 to set up Messi date

Published on Jun 26, 2014 6:11 AM
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring a goal during the 2014 World Cup Group E soccer match between Honduras and Switzerland at the Amazonia arena in Manaus on June 25, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MANAUS, Brazil (AFP) - Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri erased his side's lingering World Cup pain in Manaus on Wednesday, scoring a hat-trick to see off Honduras 3-0 and secure a daunting last-16 tie against Lionel Messi's Argentina.

Four years ago the Central Americans denied Switzerland a place in the knockout rounds by holding out for a 0-0 draw but two first-half goals from the impressive Bayern Munich player gave Honduras a mountain to climb.

Coach Luis Suarez's team fought hard to get back into the game even though they had no chance of progressing but a third goal from the midfielder killed their hopes.

Ottmar Hitzfeld's team, sixth in the Fifa rankings, came into the game level on points with Ecuador in Group E, three points off leaders France, knowing a victory would likely see them progress.

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