Suarez steps down

26 June 2014 06:31

Honduras coach Luis Suarez has stepped down after a 3-0 defeat to Switzerland saw his team bow out at the group stage of the World Cup on Wednesday.

Honduras finished bottom of Group E after three consecutive defeats that also included a 3-0 loss to France and a 2-1 defeat to Ecuador.

The South Americans needed to beat Switzerland to have any hope of qualifying for the last 16 but Xherdan Shaqiri's hat-trick dashed any remaining hopes of progress.

"Unfortunately we didn't get the result we were hoping for (against Honduras)," Suarez told FIFA's official website.

"The whole country is disappointed and I'm sad because we didn't manage to reach the next round. That was our dream.

"I made the decision to step down five minutes ago. It's time for a change.

"The new coach has a good squad at his disposal, we've got good young players and we're on the right track.

"I'll take positive memories from this experience and I'll always be a Honduras fan."

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld believes his team have nothing to lose from now on after the win secured a challenging last 16 tie against Argentina.

Shaqiri's treble put Switzerland through as runners-up behind France, who drew 0-0 with Ecuador and now face Nigeria.

"As a coach, after losing 5-2 to France you know it's important to stay calm," Hitzfeld told FIFA's official website.

"I made the most of our strengths. Xherdan Shaqiri is a player who can make the difference because he can decide games on his own.

"Even against France he played very well. I put him as a number 10 today and that paid off.

"We've got nothing left to lose so things can only get better for us."

Shaqiri, who scored two goals in the first half before adding a third with 19 minutes to play, was delighted with his contribution and insists anything can happen in the knock-out stages.

"It is definitely a big achievement to score three goals at a World Cup," Shaqiri said.

"The important thing is that we stuck together as a team. Now we'll have to see what happens. We're in the Round of 16 so anything is possible."

Source: PA