Preview - Switzerland vs Northern Ireland 13 Nov

Started by Bensergi, Nov 12, 2017, 11:19 PM

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Bensergi

Switzerland vs Northern Ireland

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has told Northern Ireland to stop moaning about Switzerland's controversial penalty in the first leg.

Ricardo Rodriguez scored from the spot to give the Swiss a 1-0 first leg lead after Corry Evans was wrongly judged to have handled the ball.

Evans is suspended after being booked following the penalty decision. Northern Ireland face a major battle to pull back their deficit at St Jakob's Park in Basel, a ground at which only England have beaten Switzerland in a 17-game run stretching back to 2001.

Northern Ireland are aiming to qualify for a first World Cup since 1986 and only the fourth in their history, and also compete in back-to-back major tournaments for the first time.

In contrast, Switzerland have played in 10 World Cups, including the past three tournaments, and are three-times quarter-finalists.

Vladimir Petkovic's side have won 13 of their past 17 matches and are 11th in the Fifa rankings, 12 places above their play-off opponents.

Bensergi

Match Stats:

  • Switzerland 0-0 Northern Ireland
  • Shots: 18-12
  • Possession: 52%-48%
  • Corner kicks: 6-4


Northern Ireland's hopes of making the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986 ended as Switzerland won their play-off 1-0 on aggregate after Sunday's stalemate in Basel.

The tie was decided by Ricardo Rodriguez's controversial penalty in Belfast as Michael O'Neill's team failed in their bid to reach back-to-back major tournaments for the first time.

Northern Ireland came within inches of forcing extra time in injury time at the end of the tie, only for West Brom defender Jonny Evans to see his header hacked off the line by Rodriguez.

Both sides wasted chances to score in a nervy contest at a rain-soaked St Jakob-Park, with Switzerland striker Haris Seferovic particularly guilty following a string of missed attempts.

O'Neill's team failed to register a shot on target at Windsor Park in the first leg, but this was a far more adventurous display and, after several near misses from Chris Brunt in the first half, they were almost rewarded late on - only for Evans to be denied.

The result secures Switzerland a place in Russia - their fourth consecutive World Cup - and means Northern Ireland's hopes of a fourth finals appearance are over.

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