Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat-trick as Switzerland sealed their place in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup by beating Honduras 3-0 in Manaus.
He may not be a regular starter at Bayern Munich, but the young winger remains the focal point of a Swiss side that have established themselves as an emerging force.
And the 22-year-old rose to the occasion when it mattered on Wednesday, his tour de force securing a win that meant Switzerland progressed from Group E behind France, who drew 0-0 with Ecuador to ensure the South American nation crashed out.
With his side smarting from a 5-2 drubbing at the hands of France last Friday, Shaqiri settled any nerves when he scored a sixth-minute thunderbolt before sliding home a second before half-time.
He then capped his impressive display with a third in the 71st minute, setting up a mouth-watering clash with Argentina next Tuesday.
In stark contrast, Honduras suffered the ignominy of being eliminated without a single point to their name.
Determined to right the wrongs of their France nightmare, Switzerland came flying out of the blocks as Shaqiri had a goal-bound effort blocked.
His first World Cup goal would come soon after, though, and it was worth the wait.
After cutting inside from the right wing, the lively Shaqiri unleashed a powerful, left-footed effort into the top corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
Shaqiri's one-man show continued for much of the opening exchanges, epitomised when he fired just wide midway through the first half.
Honduras started to offer an attacking threat and their verve showed up some nerves in the Switzerland backline, especially from set-pieces.
Such trepidation almost brought about an equaliser when Brayan Beckeles capitalised on the Swiss' inability to clear a corner by volleying just wide on the swivel.
But Shaqiri showed his class once again in the 31st minute when Victor Bernardez's failure to intercept a searching ball freed Josip Drmic, who slipped a pass inside for the 22-year-old to slide the ball home.
Determined to not go out with a whimper, Honduras began strongly after the break with Ricardo Rodriguez required to make a sliding clearance off the line after Jerry Bengtson had chipped the onrushing Diego Benaglio.
Shaqiri was on hand to show another flash of Switzerland’s threat at the other end, only to be denied by Noel Valladares – who was quickly off his line to keep out his effort.
Honduras continued to battle away and were left feeling aggrieved as a penalty appeal was turned down when Johnny Palacios went down under a challenge from Johan Djourou.
Any disgruntlement quickly turned to dejection, however, when Shaqiri completed his treble.
Drmic was again the provider, racing on to Rodriguez's searching long ball before jinking past Bernardez and sliding across a fine delivery that left Shaqiri with the simplest of tap-ins.
‘An amazing story’: Patrice Evra leads social media tributes to Mabil, Deng debuts
There was a lot to like about the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait on Tuesday (AEDT) but arguably the biggest highlight was the international debuts of youngsters Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng. The pair were both second-half substitutes and combined on the right flanks, with Mabi
Stats review: Breaking down the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait
The Caltex Socceroos made a blistering start to the Graham Arnold era on Tuesday morning (AEDT) with their emphatic 4-0 win over Kuwait. The performance and result not only made a big statement of what this Australian team is set to deliver under their new boss, but also snapp
Opposition watch: Korea Republic stays unbeaten despite surrendering lead
Korea Republic’s unbeaten run has continued ahead of next month’s friendly against the Caltex Socceroos after a draw with Panama on Wednesday morning (AEDT). After last week’s impressive 2-1 win over Uruguay in Seoul, the Koreans were held to a 2-2 draw by the Central American
AFC U-19 Championship preview: Young Socceroos on the hunt for FIFA U-20 World Cup qualification
Some of Asia’s future football stars will gather in Kuala Lumpur as the AFC U-19 Championship kicks off on Thursday. And our Young Socceroos are out to show the world they mean business. A place at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland next year is at stake for Ante Milicic and