Switzerland qualify for World Cup finals

Switzerland qualify for World Cup finals

Switzerland qualify for World Cup finals

O'Neill guided Norn Iron to the last 16 in their first ever European Championship finals appearance in 2016 and they came agonisingly close to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, with a narrow play-off defeat to Switzerland ending their dream.

Despite a battling display from Michael O'Neill's side, an eventual goalless draw wasn't enough to secure qualification.

But the victorious country's greatest sports star Roger Federer, who has 19 tennis Grand Slam titles to his name, has cast a thought for the beaten Northern Irish. We should still be playing now, still be playing extra-time now. I hope they won't be compensated in Basel, my home town.

After the first leg of their World Cup play-off, Northern Ireland find themselves in a rather unfortunate predicament as they find themselves trailing 1-0 on aggregate to Switzerland with the second leg to be played away.

"These are players who have had long and established Northern Ireland careers". For me they've got time to make that decision. We don't have a qualifier until next March, so there is lot of time for on that.

"To take a team like Switzerland right to the final minute, I think, is an wonderful achievement by this group of players".

However, Switzerland ultimately held on for the win, with Rodríguez's controversial first leg penalty proving decisive. "I am under contract until 2020 so tonight is about being with my players and spending time with them and making sure they are OK".

Related news