The Bayern Munich attacker was the star of the show and opened the scoring with a magnificent drive that flew in off the bar on six minutes.
The Swiss, who qualify in second spot following Ecuador's stalemate with table-topping France, were always in control and doubled their lead just past the half hour when a flowing break involving Gokhan Inler and Josip Drmic saw Shaqiri race through and finish with aplomb.
But it was Shaqiri's night and he secured the match ball when he nonchalantly knocked in Drmic's cut back from the left.
Ottmar Hitzfeld's side will now face a last-16 clash with Argentina in Sao Paulo next Tuesday.
PRE-MATCH: Palacios returns, but no Senderos. Wilson Palacios returns from suspension to take his place in the Honduras midfield. Carlos Costly and Jerry Bengtson lead the attack while Juan Carlos Garcia comes in for Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre. As for Switzerland, they bring in Fabian Schaer to replace Steve Von Bergen (fractured cheekbone) at centre back. He will partner Johan Djourou. Aston Villa's Philippe Senderos came on for Von Bergen against France but did not impress.
3' - SWITZERLAND CHANCE! Drmic skips past his man and into the area on the left. He plays a lovely ball across the six-yard box for Shaqiri who sees his side-footer brilliantly saved. The follow-up is still on, but Honduras get bodies in the way and survive.
6' - GOAL! SWITZERLAND 1-0 HONDURAS. What a stunning strike from Shaqiri! The Bayern forward cuts in from the right and fizzes a sensational shot in off the bar. First blood to the Swiss!
21' - SWITZERLAND CHANCE! Switzerland are playing in flashes and ripping Honduras open when they do. More exquisite one-touch play tees it up for Shaqiri who pulls the trigger once again but this time he drags it a few yards wide.
22' - HONDURAS CHANCE! Honduras win their first corner of the game. It clips Schar at the near post and drops for Beckeles who fires wide following an awkward turn. He should have done better.
31' - GOAL! SWITZERLAND 2-0 HONDURAS. It's that man, again! Shaqiri races through on goal following a wonderful breakaway that saw Inler feed Drmic, who in turn picked out the Bayern man to coolly tuck home.
49'- HONDURAS CHANCE! Wilson Palacios puts a lovely ball into the area for Bengtson who should score but decides to try and head it when a side foot would do! Crazy decision that sees the ball skim off his head and bobble wide.
52' - OFF THE LINE! Bengtson gets beyond Djourou and rounds the keeper but sees his scuffed shot cleared off the line by Rodriguez.
58' - SWITZERLAND CHANCE. Mehmedi holds up play on the right of the area and waits for the run of Shaqiri before playing in the forward who sees his shot on the run blocked by the keeper. Almost the hat-trick.
61' - PENALTY SHOUT. A long ball picks out the run of Jerry Palacios who is nudged by Djourou as he is about to shoot. The ref says no, but it should have given. A clear shove. Could have been a red card too.
71' - GOAL! SWITZERLAND 3-0 HONDURAS. HAT-TRICK! On cue, Shaqiri slots home from eight yards after a wonderful run and cut back from Drmic on the left to put it on a plate for his strike partner.
80' - WONDERFUL SAVE! It should be a consolation but Benaglio pulls off a stunning reflex save to keep out Bengtson's point-blank header.
Xherdan Shaqiri scored the 50th hat-trick in the history of the World Cup
Shaqiri's goals for Switzerland mean a player in every shirt number (2-23) except 1 has now scored at the 2014 World Cup.
Honduras have played more matches at the World Cup without winning than any other side. Honduras are still awaiting their first World Cup victory, having drawn three and lost six of their nine matches. Shaqiri scored Switzerland’s first World Cup finals hat-trick since 1954 (Josef Hügi vs Austria) Shaqiri becomes the second player to score a hat-trick at this World Cup and the second by a Bayern Munich player. (Stats courtesy of Opta)
TALKING POINT: What now for Shaqiri? The Swiss star has barely had a look-in at Bayern Munich and has hinted his future may lie elsewhere if he is to get regular football. The gossip columns have frequently linked the 22-year-old with a move to England and, on this evidence, there will be no shortage of takers should he wish to showcase his talent on a different stage.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland): Brought a dull game to life with bursts of brilliance. The opener was a strike right out of the top drawer while his second was an accomplished finish to round off a superb counter attack. The hat-trick sealed it in a quiet second half, but he is THE main reason Switzerland have claimed a place in the last 16.
PLAYER RATINGS -
SWITZERLAND: Benaglio 6, Lichtsteiner 6, Djourou 5, Schaer 7, Behrami 6, Inler 7, Xhaka 6, Rodriguez 6, Mehmedi 7, Drmic 7, Shaqiri 9. Subs: Seferovic 5, Lang 5, Dzemaili n/a.
HONDURAS: Valladares 7, Figueroa 7, Bernardez 6, J Garcia 7, W Palacios 6, Bengtson 5, Costly 5, B Garcia 6, Espinoza 6, Claros 6, Beckeles 6. Subs: Palacios. W 6, Chavez 7, Najar 5.
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Xherdan Shaqiri
- Bayern Munich
- Johan Djourou
- Jerry Palacios
- Wilson Palacios
- Josip Drmic
- Jerry Bengtson