Switzerland clinches World Cup berth

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The pitch was far from perfect on Sunday, but that didn’t for Switzerland.

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The Swiss became the 27th team to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia after settling for a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland at St Jakob-Park.

Chances were at a minimum throughout the match, but the visitors nearly forced the game into extra time when Jonny Evans‘ close-range effort forced a goal-line clearance out of the Swiss back line.

The hosts came out strong in the second half, with Ricardo Rodriguez testing No. Ireland keeper Michael McGovern immediately after the halftime break.

Xherdan Shaqiri was a menace down the wing throughout the first half for the Swiss, testing McGovern on several occasions as well.

The Northern Irish nearly broke the deadlock just two minutes into the match when Chris Brunt unleashed a powerful effort from distance.

Three more European spots will be up for grabs in the coming days as the WCQ cycle rounds out.