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Live Reporting

Phil Dawkes

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all... for now

    Join us again tomorrow for more World Cup play-offs action with Sweden hosting Italy and also some friendly football (if you can call it that). England take on Germany and Wales are in France.

    I'll see thee.

  2. Post update

    John Southall

    BBC Radio 5 live football reporter

    Michael O'Neill is in the press conference room. He's just said he is staggered by the penalty decision, he also felt it was a red card in the first half.

    He is a mild mannered man but he is clearly angry and bewildered by the decision.

  3. Croatia in complete control

    Croatia 4-1 Greece

    Luka Modric opened the scoring as Croatia took control against Greece....

    Luka Modric opened the scoring as Croatia took control against Greece...

    It was pretty much one-way traffic after that, despite Greece briefly giving themselves hope with a goal of their own.

    It will take a serious swing in this tie to prevent Croatia heading to Russia next summer.

    You can read the match report here.

  4. Match facts

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    • This is the first time Northern Ireland have lost back-to-back home games since February 2012 (a run of three).
    • Indeed, Norn Iron have now conceded in consecutive home games for the first time since October 2015, following a run of eight clean sheets in nine games at Windsor Park.
    • The Green and White Army failed to register a single shot on target for the first time since facing Poland at Euro 2016.
    • All three of Ricardo Rodriguez’s goals for Switzerland in this qualifying process have come away from home, making him the top Swiss away scorer in World Cup 2018 qualifying.
    • Switzerland have now won 10 of their last 11 competitive games, with the exception being last month’s loss to Portugal which forced them into the play-off.
  5. 'I don't know if it was a penalty'

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri on Sky Sports: "I don't know if it was a penalty or not. I tried to get a shot on target and I don't know if he touched it with his hand or not. In the end the referee gave the penalty. That is football.

    "We controlled the game over 90 minutes, had a lot of possession and created chances. We played much better than Northern Ireland and deserved to win.

    "It is, for us, the best result to get. We knew it would be difficult. They have their own fans behind them. We are looking forward to Basel, the second leg and trying to win again to reach the World Cup."

  6. 'We have to channel the anger'

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill on Sky Sports: "The referee has no-one in his line of sight. Corry's arm isn't in an unnatural position, it's by his side. The ball hits him on the back more than anything. I thought the referee had blown for a foul or an offside. Nobody had claimed for it.

    "I'm staggered by the decision, staggered by the yellow card.

    "It's such a defining moment in the match. The opening tackle by Fabian Schar was borderline. I thought it was a red card. The referee hasn't done us any favours.

    "We have to forget about it. I thought the players' reaction to it was very good. We played much better in the second half, the game was even. We are still in the tie. Maybe a referee will give us a decision in the second leg.

    "I'll have to pick the players up. There's anger in the dressing room. We're going to have to find a way to get a goal back. Stuart Dallas' injury is a blow. I thought the players who came on did well. We might look to freshen the team up on Sunday. We have to channel the anger."

  7. 'The worst referee I've seen in a long time'

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    John O'Neill

    Former Northern Ireland defender on BBC Radio 5 live

    It was a terrible decision. It's hit him on the top of the shoulder at best. You have to gauge the reaction of the players. They didn't think it was a penalty. The referee was awful through the whole game. He's the worst referee I've seen in a long time. It did spoil the night.

    I was disappointed with the Northern Ireland performance. In a game of this stature, we didn't perform. Switzerland were the better side by a mile. But if they didn't get the penalty, we've played awful and might have got away with a 0-0 draw.

    Jonny Evans of Northern Ireland
  8. Get Involved


    Stephen Collins: Feel sorry for the ref. Bit unfair throwing him in to take charge when he's clearly never even watched a game of football before

  9. 'Welcome to the dark ages'

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Colin Murray

    BBC Radio 5 live at Windsor Park

    Feel free to take the mic out of my hands if I overstep the mark in the next 20 minutes. We talked about history and occasion and how football can be a catalyst for change and for heroes. Yet here we are talking about referees. It's the dark ages. Welcome to the dark ages.

    The Republic of Ireland had Thierry Henry's handball. It was such a baffling decision tonight. There is nobody in Wales, England or Scotland who thinks that was a penalty. Nobody in Switzerland thought it was a penalty. It was shocking. Here's a clue, if the opposing team do not appeal for a penalty and you're standing on the wrong side of the player, it's probably not a penalty.

    There's no point reading out texts or tweets. It'd be like saying text us if you are breathing, if you have a phone. There are no shades of grey with that decision.

  10. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    I'm seeing numerous replays of the penalty decision. Doesn't get any better. It gets worse.

    Pretty much everyone agrees on two things...

    1. It wasn't a penalty.

    2. Switzerland were by far the better side.

    Northern Ireland's Corry Evans
  11. Greece need a display like England...

    Croatia 4-1 Greece


    All over in Zagreb and Kostas Mitroglou, the guy who managed no goals in three matches after a £12m move to Fulham, will be kicking himself.

    Two of his headers late on go close for Greece - the first over the bar and the second bringing a fine save from Danijel Subasic.

    Those chances could prove key as Croatia will take a three-goal lead into Sunday's second-leg.

    They have not lost a competitive game by a three-goal margin since losing 5-1 to England in 2009.

  12. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Northern Ireland are still in the tie. Very much so.

    However, they found that tough going tonight against a very good Swiss side, who had 65% possession over the game. A goal to take to St. Jakob-Park would have gone down very well.

    If they are going to make it to Russia, Michael O'Neill's men will be doing it the hard way.

    Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill
  13. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Keith Gillespie

    Former Northern Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live

    It will be a real test for us on Sunday. It was important to only lose this 1-0. We are capable of winning in Basel, we can cause upsets. Let's go and do it one more time.


    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Boos echo around Windsor Park. Not for the home side, but the referee, who is surrounded by Northern Ireland players.

    Ovidiu Hategan's decision to give Switzerland a very generous penalty has been this game's defining moment. He could also have sent Fabian Schar off for a nasty foul on Stuart Dallas early in the game.

    Switzerland deserved to win the game, but not with a gift from the official.

    The referee
  15. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Switzerland in possession. Time almost up...

  16. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    George Saville sends the ball out for a Swiss throw, prompting Stephan Lichtsteiner to go down with cramp. More seconds eaten up.

  17. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Keith Gillespie

    Former Northern Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live

    One thing we don't want to do is get caught on the break. If we're going to lose it, let's only lose 1-0.

  18. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    In the ball goes to be flicked on by a Northern Ireland head but then cleared by a Swiss boot.

    Time for one more chance?

  19. Post update

    Northern Ireland 0-1 Switzerland

    Free-kick Northern Ireland. Xhaka on Davis. It is 15 yards inside the Swiss half. Time to swing it in.

  20. Get Involved


    Maybe the only tweet we've had saying it should have been a penalty...

    Jimmy McCullough: NI have been woeful and blaming the ref is sour grapes. It was not a red and it was a pen. His arm was blocking the ball from being on target. Be more adventurous and try to win the tie instead of playing for penalties from the off.