Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

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Sweden SWE

England ENG

Panama PAN

Japan JPN

Senegal SEN

Poland POL

Colombia COL

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

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Northern Ireland fail to qualify for World Cup finals despite spirited performance in Basel

Switzerland (1) 0-0 (0) Northern Ireland

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland have failed to qualify for the World Cup finals despite a spirited display in Basel.

Michael O'Neill's men earned a 0-0 draw in Basel after a much-improved display, Switzerland edging over the line care of their contentious penalty and 1-0 win at Windsor Park on Thursday evening.

NI came within a whisker of forcing extra-time, Jonny Evans seeing an injury-time header cleared off the line.

Switzerland striker Haris Seferovic missed two early gilt-edged chances to put the tie to bed, fluffing two headers. Michael McGovern had to be alert when Zuber did find the target but the visitors created chances of their own, Chris Brunt testing the goalkeeper with two stern first-half drives.

Northern Ireland piled on the pressure during the second half with Steven Davis, Stuart Dallas and Conor Washington all driving on the visitors in Basel.

Washington and George Saville both had two chances to send the tie in extra-time during NI's purple patch. First Washington flicked a top header inches wide of goal then Saville's shot was too tame to trouble the keeper when he should have done better.

Jonny Evans even had an injury time header cleared off the line by Thursday's scorer Ricardo Rodriguez as Northern Ireland piled on the pressure.

In the end, it wasn't enough for NI, who at least delivered a nervy night with an impressive performance.

Here's the match as it happened:

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