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Shaqiri Scores Hat Trick to Lift Switzerland into Knockout Stages

The 22-year-old becomes the third Bayern player to advance into the Round of 16

Stu Forster

Switzerland got the convincing victory they needed to advance to the knockout stages, 3-0 win against Honduras, due primarily to Xherdan Shaqiri's hat trick.

The 22-year-old recorded the first Swiss hat trick in 60 years and the second hat trick of the tournament, both of which belong to Bayern players – Thomas Müller collected the first against Portugal.

Shaqiri's first goal was a real cracker, curling a shot past Noel Valladares in goal with Juan Carlos García and Victor Bernárdez closing him down. Even with that Wundertreffer, Switzerland still needed breathing room to assure their safe passage following their 2-5 defeat against France.

Shaqiri played in behind Josep Drmic for most of the match, a change Ottmar Hitzfeld made after mediocre performances against Ecuador and France. It was a combination that was devastating on the counterattack, Drmic sending Shaqiri through twice later in the game to seize the runner-up spot in Group E.

The hat trick for Shaqiri now gives Bayern players 12 goals in the Group Stage – Thomas Müller, Shaqiri, and Arjen Robben with three, Mario Mandzukic with two, and Mario Götze with one. The next closest team is Barcelona, who have nine thanks to Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Alexis Sanchez.

Unfortunately for Shaqiri, their runner-up performance in the group stage pairs Switzerland with Argentina, who won 3-2 against Nigeria to secure the Group F. That being said, he now joins Robben and Dante as Bayern players who have secured a spot in the knockout stages.

Vine Videos Courtesy of Graham MacAree and SB Nation

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