Shaqiri Hattrick Sees Switzerland Through Behind France

Shaqiri Hattrick Sees Switzerland Through Behind France

Thursday, June 26, 2014 8:00 am

A hattrick from Xherdan Shaqiri helped Switzerland to a comfortable 3-0 win over Honduras as the Swiss qualified for the World Cup second round ahead of Ecuador that could only get a goalless draw against already qualified France.

Shaqiri celebrates with teammates [via]

Ecuador midfielder Antonio Valencia was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Lucas Digne in the second half of a match that Ecuador needed to win by any margin to qualify ahead of Switzerland.

But Ecuador failed to create many goalscoring opportunities, with the closest they came to threatening the French goal coming through an Enner Valencia header that was comfortably saved.

Moussa Sissoko and Paul Pogba also had efforts saved by the Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez in the first half and did well to tip a flick from Antoine Griezmann to the woodwork early in the second half.

Griezmann's effort hit the post [via]

Ecuador became less of a threat after being reduced to 10 men and Dominguez made saves from Karim Benzema and Löic Remy late on as the match ended goalless to see France finish top of the group.

Meanwhile a frantic start in Manaus saw Shaqiri break the deadlock for Switzerland after just six minutes with a stunning 25-yard strike that went in off the crossbar for his first ever World Cup goal.

The Bayern Munich midfielder doubled Switzerland’s lead just past the half-hour mark with a low strike into the bottom corner after being put through on goal by Josip Drmic.

Two goals down from the first half, Honduras made a bright start to the second half and almost pulled a goal back only for Ricardo Rodriguez to make a goal-line clearance from Jerry Bengston’s effort.

Shaqiri celebrates again with teammates [via]

Hopes of an unlikely comeback by the Central Americans were finally dashed 20 minutes from time when Drmic again set Shaqiri up to complete his hattrick.

The hattrick was the 50th hattrick in World Cup history and the second at the 2014 World Cup after Shaqiri’s Bayern mate Thomas Müller scored a hattrick against Portugal.

The 3-0 win was enough to see Switzerland through to the last 16 in second place behind France, with France to face Nigeria in the last 16 while Switzerland will come up against Argentina.

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