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Switzerland qualify for World Cup finals

13 November 2017

Northern Ireland saw their World Cup dream die in Basel on Sunday evening, though it was a controversial penalty three days earlier that ultimately sent Switzerland through to Russian Federation. They gave us that - and more.

"To discuss the penalty, and whether it was a penalty or not, it is the decision of the referee and not of interest to us".

Switzerland could have scored 10 goals in that second leg and it felt like half a dozen of those chances were spurned by Seferovic playing up front, so for Armstrong to suggest that Northern Ireland had "all the momentum" while continuing to concede glorious opportunities is just freaky.

"I am under contract until 2020 but I am not thinking any further ahead than being with my players and spending time with them and making sure they are okay". We don't always have top-level players but we have top-level characters.

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.

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Switzerland were quicker and stronger and started to create the better chances, but could not finish Northern Ireland off. Zuber failed to turn in a Shaqiri cross, Gareth McAuley had to stab away Blerim Dzemaili's cross, Haris Seferovic hit one into the side netting.

"Quite honestly, in the end no one is interested how this game against Northern Ireland was", Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaxa said. We would still be playing extra-time. Jamie Ward surged down the right and crossed to Washington, whose header beat Sommer but flew just wide of the post.

Switzerland is going to the World Cup after left-back Ricardo Rodriguez denied Northern Ireland hope in both games of their playoff at either end of the field.

Rodriguez moved across the goalmouth toward the post and hooked the ball clear as he fell backward into the goal.

Switzerland qualify for World Cup finals