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Swiss on course

Shaqiri magic, Martínez’ anchor role for Spain

Switzerland remained firmly on course for the 2014 World Cup thanks to a last-gasp winner against Cyprus on Saturday night. Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men left it until the very end before seeing off the minnows in Geneva and now have a four-point lead in the standings over chasing pair Albania and Iceland. Bayern man Xherdan Shaqiri laid on Haris Seferovic’s crucial last-minute winner with a sublime through pass. Hitzfeld’s team, whose remaining fixtures are away to Norway (10 September) and the Albanians (11 October) remain favourites to claim the automatic qualifying spot.

Ninety minutes for Martínez
Javi Martínez and his Spain team-mates have won the first of two warm-up friendlies ahead of the Confederations Cup. The reigning world and European champions defeated Haiti 2-1 in Miami. Martínez played the full 90 minutes and was on excellent form, as the Spanish scored early goals through Santi Cazorla (8) and Cesc Fabregas (19). Wilde-Donals Guerrier pulled one back for the side ranked 63rd in the world after 76 minutes. The Selección now finalise their preparations for the traditional pre-World Cup tournament against Ireland on Tuesday.

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