Switzerland edge past N Ireland | 2017-11-11 | daily-sun.com

Switzerland edge past N Ireland

Afp, Belfast     11 November, 2017 12:00 AM printer

Switzerland took a giant step towards qualifying for Russia 2018 on Thursday but needed a controversial penalty to earn a 1-0 win against Northern Ireland in the first leg of their World Cup play-off.

Vladimir Petkovic’s team dominated the match at Windsor Park in Belfast but squandered a succession of chances as Michael O’Neill’s team held them at bay.

The key moment came with just over half an hour to go, when Xherdan Shaqiri’s volley was blocked by Corry Evans in the box and the referee pointed to the spot, even though he appeared to have been hit on the shoulder as he took evasive action.

The Swiss are unlucky to find themselves in the play-offs after winning nine of their 10 games in Group B but were pipped to top spot by Portugal.