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Les Bleus win 5-2

Bitter defeat for Shaqiri and Swiss

Xherdan Shaqiri and Switzerland suffered a World Cup setback on Friday night as Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team crashed 5–2 to France in the highest-scoring game of the tournament so far. The FCB pro covered the full 90 minutes in Salvador but could do nothing to prevent the sobering reverse.

“We had enormous trouble, although we were actually very good in the first 15 minutes,“ Bayern coaching legend Hitzfeld reflected afterwards. The outcome was effectively settled in an eventful first half. The Swiss lost defender Steve von Bergen to injury in the ninth minute and were swept aside not long afterwards by a double whammy from Olivier Giroud (17) and Blaise Matuidi (18). The men from the Alpine republic showed a degree of resistance with a chance for Shaqiri (29) and a penalty save by Diego Benaglio against Karim Benzema (33).

But there was no stopping Didier Deschamps’ on-fire team, who wrapped it up at 3–0 five minutes before the break through Mathieu Valbuena. Benzema (67) and Moussa Sissoko (73) made it a rout for Les Bleus, who barely missed injured European player of the year Franck Ribéry but did ease off towards the end. Blerim Dzemailis (81) and Granit Xhaka (87) ultimately gave the scoreline a slightly more respectable look in the last 10 minutes.

The Swiss are now third in their group with three points from two matches but can still make the last sixteen in next Wednesday's last round of matches. Shaq and Co need a victory over Honduras, stranded at the bottom of the table with no points, but their inferior goal difference means they likely require a helping hand from the French (6 points), who themselves need a point against Ecuador (3) to be absolutely certain of progressing.