Switzerland 0 Northern Ireland 0

Heartbroken Northern Ireland fans had nothing but praise for Michael O'Neill's men after last night's second leg in Basel.

Nothern Ireland began to turn the screw a bit more in the second half, Stuart Dallas and Conor Washington in particular were able to find space in the defence as they pushed on - though Switzerland still posed a danger on the counter and Seferovic continued his wasteful streak before he was later taken off.

They also came agonisingly close to forcing extra-time on Sunday when Evans' brother Jonny had a header cleared off the line in stoppage time - also by Rodriguez.

The visitors took a healty lead into the second leg after their big win on Thursday evening.

McAuley concedes that a failure to reach Russian Federation 2018 may also signal the end of boss Michael O'Neill's tenure, telling reporters: "What I do probably has a lot to do with what Michael does and what happens after this campaign". I thought the performance was magnificent but ultimately we've gone out to a really poor decision in the first leg.

The Swiss dominated much of the first half Sunday but wasted good scoring chances, with centre forward Haris Seferovic most at fault.

Switzerland and Croatia became the next nations to secure their spots at the 2018 World Cup. Switzerland knew they were in a game last night.

Gareth McAuley has admitted that he will consider retiring from worldwide football if Northern Ireland fail to qualify for the World Cup.

Petkovic should have his best players at their peak in Russian Federation. "The chances were there and we probably weren't clinical enough in the final third. bIt's tough to go out as the result of one bad decision".

Northern Ireland hurtled out of the traps in sodden conditions and left-back Chris Brunt fired a shot across the bows with a rasping drive that tested goalkeeper Yann Sommer in the third minute. "It has been another great campaign from Northern Ireland". Blerim Dezmaili's pass across the goalmouth nearly forced an own-goal, Seferovic twice failed to get clear headers on target, and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern kept out low shots by Shaqiri and Steven Zuber.

Vanessa Coleman

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