Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Ireland to reach fourth straight World cup finals

Ireland to reach fourth straight World cup finals

It was Ricardo Rodriguez who stepped up in Belfast and converted from the spot after Corry Evans was inexplicably adjudged to have handled in the area.

Switzerland's marauding full-backs, Rodriguez and Stephan Lichtsteiner, had largely been subdued but the latter broke from defence into the Northern Irish box at the start of second half to set up a Zuber chance that Hughes blocked. To discuss whether it was a penalty or not, it's not interesting for us and in the end it was a decision by the referee.

"We will take it match by match, opponent by opponent and we're not setting any limits".

Russian Federation 2018 will be Switzerland's fourth World Cup finals in a row.

Twitter user James Lorenzo created a "supercut" from just the final 20 minutes of the second leg to give you an idea as to what you missed. "I know we can maybe play a little bit better and this maybe is the key for tomorrow".

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Things were much the same in the second half, though Northern Ireland did appear a slightly more purposeful in attack, with Conor Washington and George Saville squandering opportunities. He tried to force Switzerland back and Chris Brunt tested Yann Sommer with two rockets from 30-yards.

"This is a devastating moment but also a very proud moment", Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who described the manner of their defeat as "cruel", said. Shaqiri's shot forced Michael McGovern down low to save, Seferovic's header hit Zuber, Zuber himself had a shot saved by McGovern's legs before flashing another effort wide.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has taken aim at Northern Ireland's players.

Michaeol O'Neill threw on Jordan Jones and Josh Magennis, hoping one of them could spark something in the final third.

Rodriguez moved across the goalmouth toward the post and hooked the ball clear as he fell backward into the goal.

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