2014 World Cup: Shaqiri Advances Switzerland Past Honduras
The Switzerland National Team defeated Honduras in their final group game at the World Cup by a score of 3-0 thanks to the hat-trick from Xherdan Shaqiri. He, along with keeper Diego Benaglio, earned the 3-0 win for their troops to guarantee a date with Argentina in the Round of 16 next week.
Shaqiri was moved to the middle of the pack right behind the striker. He usually plays as a winger in the 4-2-3-1 which made him pass the ball more or cut into the middle. This time, he was already there to set up his own chances or have others give the ball to him on a silver platter. This move from Ottmar Hitzfeld really made the difference to push his team toward scoring. If he had done this against France, maybe the final score would not have been as hefty as 5-2.
Honduras were able to create chances, but were absolutely lost in front of their own frame. Their defense is the weakest point of their game, hence their three-straight losses in this World Cup. Jerry Bengtson had a shot cleared off the line by Riccardo Rodriguez which denied them from scoring their second goal in the tournament. Even with that chance, they seemed deflated as they had no answer defensively against a European team that knew how to play the game more comfortably, tactically and intelligently.
Now, Switzerland have to prepare for a match against Argentina which will be led by superstar Lionel Messi. They will still field their 4-2-3-1 perhaps again with Shaqiri in the middle, but they will most likely be overrun with shots from the Argentinians who have been brilliant in the attack. As for their defense, exploiting them will be easier on the ground as they are susceptible to counters like we saw twice today with Nigeria. If they do not fix those holes, the Swiss will hit them hard.