Switzerland suffered one of their most embarrassing losses in recent history on Friday, falling to neighbours France 5-2 to lose ground in the race for Group E's top spot.
None of the Swiss players were able to truly convince against a deadly efficient French outfit, who took full advantage of every mistake Switzerland made. Two early goals in quick succession from Olivier Giroud and Blaise Matuidi opened the floodgates, and Mathieu Valbuena added a third before the end of the first half.
Karim Benzema and Moussa Sissoko were also able to get their names on the score sheet, while Blerim Dzemaili's and Granit Xhaka's late consolation goals at least gave the Swiss fans something to cheer about.
All eyes were on Xherdan Shaqiri, the team's biggest star, to help Switzerland win the midfield battle. Via SAFA and Football-Italia, Shaqiri contributed to a few early chances, but overall, the youngster failed to really impress:
#SUI free-kick through Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka has the ball in the net but he was offside— SAFA (@SAFA_net) June 20, 2014
Close! Shaqiri effort skims the back post after first attempt parried! #SWIvsFRA— footballitalia (@footballitalia) June 20, 2014
888sport wanted to see the talented youngster in action during this World Cup. So far, he hasn't liked what the midfielder has had to offer:
Balls.ie noticed things only got worse for Shaqiri, although the pronunciation of his name is probably the least of his concerns:
Your ears did not deceive you, Ray Houghton did just call Shaqiri 'Shakira' https://t.co/66gf6rc65W— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) June 20, 2014
Shaqiri's match wasn't perfect, but it was nowhere near as bad as the horrible afternoon his goalkeeper had to endure.
Diego Benaglio could have done better with Giroud's headed effort on the first goal, and his lack of coverage in the short corner for the second was unacceptable. FourFourTwo's Lucas Swain thought the stopper looked absolutely awful on both goals:
2-0, not here. AWFUL keeping from Benaglio. Terrible, just terrible.— Lucas Swain (@BundesligaLucas) June 20, 2014
He also didn't understand why Benaglio was playing in the first place:
To be fair, Sommer had a much better season than Benaglio, it is somewhat strange he's even starting.— Lucas Swain (@BundesligaLucas) June 20, 2014
888sport compared the type of match Benaglio was having to the recent bad luck that has followed Spain's Iker Casillas:
USA Today's Nancy Armour had the same idea:
You know it's bad when Iker Casillas feels sorry for Benaglio.— Nancy Armour (@nrarmour) June 20, 2014
ESPN's Janusz Michallik weighed in on how bad the stopper must have felt following his two costly errors:
French are smiling for a change. Benaglio is not.— Janusz Michallik (@JanuszESPN) June 20, 2014
He did redeem himself somewhat with a penalty save, however, as shared by 2014 World Cup:
Unfortunately, the French squad kept pressing for goals, and when the official blew the final whistle, Benaglio had conceded a grand total of five goals.
Switzerland will need to regroup after this devastating loss, as the race for Group E's second ticket to the knockout stages still isn't over. The Swiss defeated Ecuador on the first matchday and will progress to the next round with a win over Honduras no matter what.
Defeating the Honduran squad will be easier said than done, however, and the embarrassment the team suffered on Friday will have its effect on how the team performs for the rest of the tournament.
To add insult to injury, a win over Honduras would most likely lead to a round of 16 meeting with Argentina, who feature one of the world's best attacking units led by the mercurial Lionel Messi.