By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Switzerland have qualified for the knock-out stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup after a 3-0 win over Honduras yesterday (June 25th) afternoon at the Arena Amazônia. Shaqiri was the hero of the hour with a hat-trick to see the Swiss safely on their way.
Up next for Switzerland is a meeting with Lionel Messi and Argentina. The match will take place on Tuesday, July 1st, at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo.
The Europeans put in their best performance at the tournament by some distance to overcome Honduras. Playmaker Drmic was also on fine form, laying on all three assists for frontman Shaqiri, as they rode some rough waves to eventually blow the Central Americans out of the water.
Switzerland took the lead after only five minutes when Shaqiri found the angle with a wonderful effort from outside the penalty area. It was the perfect start to their mission and they never looked back.
As the first half progressed Honduras were seeing their fair share of the ball but were not able to make it count, and they were made to pay on the half hour when Drmic and Shaqiri combined again to double the Swiss advantage. After the break and with nothing to lose, Honduras resolved to throw everything they had at Switzerland.
Bengston went close with a header before rounding goalkeeper Bengalio, only to see defender Ricardo Rodriguez stop his effort almost on top of the goal line. With their backs against the wall, Shaqiri came to the rescue to put the result beyond any doubt. Released on the counter-attack by Dmric, he beat an outcoming Valladares to seal victory.
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.