Honduras 0 Switzerland 3: Highlights, key battles and what the result means
Published on Jun 26, 2014 6:39 AM
Switzerland bounced back from their heavy 2-5 loss to France to book their place in the last-16 with a 3-0 win over Honduras.
Striker Xherdan Shaqiri was the toast of the Swiss, scoring a hat-trick - including a brilliant first goal - to lift his side to finish in second spot in Group E.
Switzerland, who needed to outdo Ecuador in this final group tie to overtake the South Americans and advance, got off to a great start in the sixth minute. Receiving a pass outside the penalty area, Shaqiri turned his defender and unleashed an unstoppable screamer into the top left corner. A sure-fire contender for Goal of the Tournament.
The Bayern Munich striker doubled his goal tally in the 31st minute. This time, after Josip Drmic capitalised on a defensive error and passed from the left flank, Shaqiri was on hand to coolly slot the ball home.
Switzerland continued to attack in the second half against the deflated Honduras, and Shaqiri completed his hat-trick in the 71st minute. Again it was Drmic who swept down the left flank, before laying it up for Shaqiri to thump home and complete the 50th hat-trick in World Cup history.
Clearly, Switzerland's attacking strength lies on their left-flanked players Drmic and Ricardo Rodriguez. And they tried to set those two speedsters free at every opportunity. Honduras' right-back Brayan Beckeles had a tough night trying to contain the two Swiss, and unfortunately he still allowed them to create the Swiss' second and third goals.
Man of the Match
Without a doubt, 22-year-old Shaqiri was the bright spark which inspire Switzerland to victory. The stocky striker was strong enough to fend off his defender before curling a stunning long-range goal for his opener.
Then, he showed superb striker's instinct to be at the right place at the right time to slot home his next two goals. No wonder he is being courted by many European clubs during this off-season.
What the result means
As Ecuador could only manage a 0-0 draw against France, Switzerland thus lifted themselves over the South American side to finish in second place in Group E. This means they advance into the Round of 16, where they will face Lionel Messi's Argentina.
Honduras finished without a point in Group E, although Carlo Costly's goal against Ecuador meant that at least they broke their 32-year scoring duck at the World Cup Finals.