Northern Ireland World Cup Dream ended by Switzerland

Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign has ended in disappointment following yesterday’s result in Basel.

noiThe goalless draw wasn’t enough for Michael O’Neill’s men, as Switzerland’s controversial 1-0 victory in Belfast meant they secured their place at the 2018 World Cup.

Ricardo Rodriguez’s second half penalty in the first leg proved to be the deciding factor between the two teams, with the AC Milan defender proving to be crucial once again in Basel, clearing the ball off the line from a Johnny Evans header late in the game.

Northern Ireland finished second in their qualifying group, behind World Champions Germany, meaning they had to go the long road through the play-offs. However they were unable to get past a strong Switzerland side, meaning the Green and White Army won’t be on the plane to Russia next summer.

Despite defeat, O’Neill declared that the efforts of his team during the campaign was still an “amazing achievement”.