November 12, 2017 / 7:02 PM / a year ago

Soccer-Swiss scrape into World Cup with 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland

BASEL, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Switzerland scraped into next year’s World Cup, their fourth finals in a row, after being held to a goalless draw at home by a valiant but workmanlike Northern Ireland on Sunday.

The Swiss qualified 1-0 on aggregate, the tie ultimately being decided by the hugely controversial penalty converted by Ricardo Rodriguez in the first leg in Belfast on Thursday.

The Swiss could have done it in style as they dominated the first hour but squandered a hatful of chances.

But, on a slippery pitch which cut up badly, they relinquished control for the last part of the game and Rodriguez saved the Swiss by clearing a goalbound header off the line in stoppage time. (Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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