Switzerland qualify for World Cup finals

Lynette Rowe
November 13, 2017

In each leg of Switzerland's 1-0 aggregate win, the key incident involved one of Northern Ireland's Evans brothers.

Russian Federation 2018 will be Switzerland's fourth World Cup finals in a row.

The set-ball specialist is one of Europe's top left backs although he now finds himself in a struggling AC Milan side and had the misfortune to give away a decisive penalty when they lost the Milan derby last month. Whatever happens in the future, Michael O'Neill has taken these players further than anyone could have imagined, and they have performed for him and for their country with a pride, effort and application that many bigger countries simply cannot match. "I know we can maybe play a little bit better and this maybe is the key for tomorrow".

Chris Brunt anxious the host first, forcing Yann Sommer into a flying save to keep a stunning 30-yard drive out of the top-right corner, before Seferovic inexplicably failed to direct Shaqiri's pinpoint cross beyond Michael McGovern with a glancing header.

"This is a devastating moment but also a very proud moment", Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who described the manner of their defeat as "cruel", said.

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The Swiss finally awoke as Haris Seferovic glanced Xherdan Shaqiri's cross wide and Blerim Dzemaili's drive across the six-yard box was diverted over by Gareth McAuley's outstretched leg.

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His pass to the right flank was seized upon by Ward his cross was met by a Conor Washington header that just looped past Sommer's far post. Washington was tiring but next up he still spun his way down the left and passed to George Saville, who could not get enough power on his shot.

They were again indebted to Rodriguez on Sunday when he cleared a goal-bound header from Northern Ireland defender Jonny Evans.

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