World Cup 2014 Daily Recap 6/25: Swiss hat-trick pushes them through to the next round

By Andrew Wilson,

Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick, sending the team through to the knockout stage, along with a little bit of luck from a goalless Ecuador and France game, with France taking the group.

In their first ever World Cup, Bosnia-Herzegovina went out fighting, knocking Iran out and showing they will most likely be back in four years, while Argentina and Nigeria battled each other in what could have been a much higher scoring game for either side.

Group F: Bosnia-Herzegovina v Iran, 3-1

Although Bosnia-Herzegovina are out of their first World Cup, they were not going to exit quietly. At the 23rd minute Bosnian Edin Dzeko would score, and give the only goal of the half. With odds-makers putting their money on Iran to win, in the 59th minute Bosnia would again score, making it 2-0. Iran looked to make a comeback with a goal at the 79th but Bosnia quickly answered with a goal in the 82nd, ending Iran’s run in the tournament with a 3-1 win.

Group F: Nigeria v Argentina, 2-3

Argentina and Nigeria fought a good battle with quick goals starting with a goal from Lionel Messi at the third minute, Nigeria were quick to counter at the fourth, setting record for fastest goals scored by both teams in a World Cup.

Messi would get a brace before the end of the half from a postage-stamp placed free kick in stoppage time. Not letting up though, Nigeria would come out of the second half on fire, scoring just two minutes in. Only a few minutes later though, Marcos Rojo would but Argentina back in the lead, 3-2.

As The Guardian noted, Messi still may be a way from catching up to Diego Maradona, with his brace he has now tied with Neymar for most goals during this World Cup with five apiece.

Group E: Honduras v Switzerland, 0-3

As The New York Times noted, either the Swiss - or even Honduras - could have advanced to the next round of play with a lot of goal scoring. Unfortunately for Honduras, the day belonged to Xherdan Shaqiri, with a resounding hat-trick, sending the Swiss through to the knockout stage of competition.

Switzerland move into second place of the group and will have to face Lionel Messi and Argentina on July 1.

Group E: Ecuador v France, 0-0

Karim Benzema led the charge for France but against a very strong Ecuadorian defense, and as impressive offense, neither side could find the back of the net during the 90 plus minutes. Back and forth, with everything to lose, Ecuador worked feverishly the entire time to get the winning goal. But when the dust settled, France, who only needed a tie to move forward, would take the top of the group with a point above Switzerland.

France will now face an inspired Nigeria on Monday June 30.

On June 26, in the conclusion of the group stage, in group G, the big day for Team USA as they take on Germany. The easiest scenario to move on being a win or tie, but could also go through with some luck between Portugal v Ghana which all America will be keeping a close eye on.

In Group H, Belgium look for a perfect record in the group stage with a win against South Korea, and Algeria v Russia play in a do or die match to get to the knockout round.

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