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Jun 25, 2014

Shaqiri gives all credit to teammates

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri scored his third goal of the game against Honduras and has put his team in prime position to advance to the knockout round.

Xherdan Shaqiri gave all credit to his team after recording a hat trick in Switzerland's 3-0 win against Honduras on Wednesday.

The first goal was all Shaqiri, as the Bayern Munich man cut in and curled the ball into the top corner from outside the box. The other two, however, came on passes from Josip Drmic, and Shaqiri acknowledged his teammates' convincing play after the match.

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SwitzerlandSwitzerland
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"I am very proud of our team. Without my team, I wouldn't have scored three goals," Shaqiri said. "Like any other match, we prepared like we always prepared. We had good training sessions and we went onto the pitch as a team and qualified for the Round of 16.

"It has been a dream to play in the World Cup. We are anxious for the match against Argentina. We are not the favourites, but we will do whatever we can to win. Anything is possible, you never know."

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld brushed away critics who said Shaqiri did not perform well in the Swiss' previous game, a 5-2 defeat to France.

"I think he had an excellent match. I hadn't seen his previous performance as negatively as others have seen it," Hitzfeld said. "Even against Ecuador, he had very good moments.

"It was important that the team could count on him and his skills. He displayed today what he's capable. He started counter-attacks and this is confirmation of all the potential he has."

Xherdan Shaqiri tallied a hat trick in Switzerland's group stage finale versus Honduras.
Xherdan Shaqiri broke out with three goals in Switzerland's win against Hondruras on Wednesday.

Overall, Hitzfeld was ecstatic at his team's performance in uncomfortable conditions in Manaus.

"We played a strong team and played against the weather," Hitzfeld said. "We were aware of that, and the team showed attitude, will and we surpassed ourselves. We showed passion and suffered today. To get to the next round, it's important to sacrifice and that's exactly what they did.

"The main thing right now is to recover. We need to take care of ourselves before we prepare for Argentina. I'm happy for the extra day we have to prepare."

Argentina, the Swiss' next opponent, promises to provide stiffer test than Honduras, but Hitzfeld said his side is prepared.

"For each one of us, we are highly motivated," the coach said. "We have already written history by getting to the round of 16. It is not easy to play here in South America. We have nothing to lose and a lot to gain against Argentina. We have a chance."

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