GCC Secretary General Congratulates Qatar on Hosting FIFA Arab Cup 2021 Qatar    Jordan's King Receives European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Affairs    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet's Virtual Session    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Lower at 10,761 Points    HRH Crown Prince Congratulates President of Central African Republic on Republic Day    Education Minister Meets with Chairman of Italian Thought and Research Center    Saudi Hind Al-Showaier Elected Regional Director of World Federation of the Deaf    KSrelief Covers Annual Expenses for Orphaned, Needy Students in Albanian Islamic Sheikhdom Schools    Russia Records 32,648 New Cases of COVID-19, 1,229 Deaths    Japan Confirms First Case of Omicron Variant of Coronavirus    World's first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say    Chinese president pledges one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa    Actor hatched 'secret plan' for hate hoax    Are Indians unable to laugh at themselves?    UN chief calls for nuclear weapons-free Middle East    MHRSD resolves dispute between employer and Filipino housemaids    Dr. Carboni: 4 museums to be set up in two years    Coronavirus pandemic could cost global tourism $2 trillion this year    Jeddah receiving world's greatest drivers in preparation for Formula1 Grand Prix    El-Sisi inaugurates EDEX 2021; tours Saudi pavilion    Trailblazer Juffali named ambassador for Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix    Dr. Al-Sheikh, Japanese envoy discuss promotion of scientific and research cooperation    Aramco awards contracts worth $10bn for vast Jafurah field development    Saudi national team golfers in action in both Thailand & Bahrain    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 10,810 Points    Saudi Film Commission launches strategy to develop cinema sector    Saudi Film Commission launch its strategy to develop film and cinema sector    Saudi Arabia Dakar Rally route unveiled; 430 vehicles to take part    Launch of Fintech Tour Activities in Participation of SAMA, CMA and MCIT    Jeddah Corniche Circuit attracts world attention as first Saudi Arabian GP nears    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Lower at 10,787 Points    Dar AL-Hekma University Celebrates General Education    Riyadh Season to host @Hack as biggest cybersecurity event in region    'Disability reminds us that there is no such thing as normal'    Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to dazzle Riyadh Season on Dec. 10    President, CEO of Saudi Arabian Fencing Federation to Participate in International Fencing Federation Congress    Al-Hilal Wins AFC Champions League 2021    United Through Sports World Virtual Youth Festival Kicks off Tomorrow in Turaif District    SAFF Announces First Female Coach for KSA's First Women's Team    First Full International Marathon in Saudi Arabia to be Held in March 2022    Winter Wonderland Circus Amazes Audience with Thrilling Acrobatic Shows    Bollywood star's 'India got freedom in 2014' remark stirs controversy    23 Saudi women obtain favorable verdicts in 'adhl' lawsuits    Bride's fingerprint not required in revised e-marriage contract    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Shaqiri treble sends Swiss into last 16
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 06 - 2014

MANAUS, Brazil — A rampant Switzerland reached the World Cup knockout stage and will lock horns with Argentina in the last 16 after a superb Xherdan Shaqiri hat trick gave it a 3-0 win over Honduras Wednesday.
The result in no way flattered the resilient Swiss, who bounced back from their 5-2 drubbing by France to finish behind them in Group E while third-placed Ecuador and Honduras were eliminated.
In Rio de Janeiro, ten-man Ecuador held France to a 0-0 draw at the Maracana but Didier Deschamps' side still topped Group E.
It was a memorable match for Kosovo-born forward Shaqiri, who scored the 50th hat trick in World Cup history and the second of this tournament after Germany's Thomas Mueller netted three against Portugal.
“Whenever you reach the second round it is a great motivation and we are highly motivated,” Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld told a news conference.
“We are going to write history and we have already written history with the three goals today. It is not easy to play here. So many European teams have had to go home. It is going to be a match where we have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
“We have to draw the right conclusions and improve. We do have a chance, even against Argentina.”
Shaqiri linked up brilliantly with striker Josip Drmic who set up two of the goals after he was preferred to Haris Seferovic in the starting line-up.
The opener, however, was entirely of the 22-year-old's making as he shook of his marker and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top left corner which left Honduras keeper Noel Valladares rooted to the spot.
He made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark, steering the ball past Valladares after he was released by Drmic who missed two chances in the closing stages of the first half with Honduras constantly on the back foot.
The Hondurans, cheered by most neutral fans, were more purposeful early in the second half and nearly pulled one back when Swiss defender Ricardo Rodriguez cleared Jerry Bengtson's shot off the line.
It was a wake-up call for the Swiss and Shaqiri went close to adding a third, forcing another good save from Valladares before Honduras had a penalty claim waved away after Jerry Palacios went down under a challenge from Johan Djourou.
Spurred by Mexican waves on the terraces, Honduras threw men forward and were caught cold in the 71st minute, when Drmic's good work down the left flank presented Shaqiri with a simple finish from eight meters.
Benaglio kept out a close-range Bengtson header in the closing stages as the tempo dropped in searing heat, which did not stop pockets of Swiss supporters celebrating long after the final whistle.
Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez said he had decided to quit after the defeat.
“I am not satisfied by what we achieved at the World Cup ... I think the team will have good results in the future. But I think someone can replace me and produce different results. Today is the last day of my contract and I have taken the decision unilaterally not to continue...I want to do something else.”
In Rio de janeiro, through luck, determination, bad finishing and excellent goalkeeping by Alexander Dominguez, Ecuador resisted even after captain Antonio Valencia was ordered off early in the second half for a studs-up challenge on Lucas Digne.
The result was disappointing for France coach Didier Deschamps but was enough to take first place with seven points and the easier of the possible second-round ties next Monday.
“We came here to qualify and did it finishing top of our group,” said Deschamps. “We didn't have a huge number of chances and their ‘keeper made some good saves but it doesn't spoil our joy at being in the last 16.”
Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda was left to lament the sending-off of his captain as his team came up just short.
“There is nothing to be done about it now but we lost an important player in our structure,” said the Colombian. “Various refereeing decisions went against us and it was difficult to hold on for a draw but the players showed great character.”
Deschamps made six changes for this game and will certainly bring back several of the missing players to take on Nigeria.
Karim Benzema, scorer of three goals in wins over Honduras and Switzerland, kept his place in the side, but France missed the creativity of Mathieu Valbuena and Yohan Cabaye, the latter absent due to suspension and replaced by Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin.
Les Bleus controlled much of the first half, but only sporadically troubled Dominguez in the Ecuador goal. — Agencies

Clic here to read the story from its source.