Soccer

Switzerland beats Peru in last World Cup warm-up match

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The Canadian Press
6/3/2014 5:17:26 PM
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LUCERNE, Switzerland - Star forward Xherdan Shaqiri scored a rare right-footed goal to help Switzerland beat Peru 2-0 in its final World Cup warm-up match on Tuesday.

The Bayern Munich winger struck in the 84th minute, finishing smartly after taking a long through pass in his stride.

Switzerland right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner headed the opening goal in the 78th from left-back Ricardo Rodriguez's cross.

The slow-starting Swiss played their best football near the end, following the same pattern as their 1-0 win against Jamaica last Friday.

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld's team leaves for Brazil on Friday with just one loss in 18 matches over the past two years. That was a 2-1 defeat against World Cup-bound South Korea last November.

Switzerland opens its Group E campaign against Ecuador on June 15 in Brasilia.

It then plays France in Salvador and Honduras in Manaus.

In a testy first half, Peru pair Luis Ramirez and Paolo Hurtado were both booked after incidents with Swiss captain Gokhan Inler.

Hurtado threatened in the 41st, exploiting a big hole in the Swiss defence to fire a curling shot that goalkeeper Diego Benaglio dived to tip beyond his left-hand post.

Shaqiri was the only one of Hitzfeld's likely World Cup starting 11 who began on the bench Tuesday, and his introduction in the 64th was key to changing the game.

His sweeping pass found Rodriguez, whose floated ball into the goalmouth found Lichtsteiner rising to meet it with a header high into the top-right corner.

Six minutes later, Inler's long pass released Shaqiri to poke a shot through the legs of goalkeeper George Forsyth.

Xherdan Shaqiri (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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