Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland run an 'amazing achievement'

Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland run an 'amazing achievement'

Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland run an 'amazing achievement'

Switzerland had plenty of chances to kill it but Northern Ireland did have their one real chance, right at the very end. "We should still be playing extra time now". But then Ricardo Rodriguez volleyed it off the line and that was that.

In the past five years, the Swiss impressed in qualifying but failed to beat the best teams they faced - France twice, Argentina and Poland - at the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship.

"We will take it match by match, opponent by opponent and we're not setting any limits". Whatever happens in the future, Michael O'Neill has taken these players further than anyone could have imagined, and they have performed for him and for their country with a pride, effort and application that many bigger countries simply cannot match.

Switzerland began the second half much like they ended the first and crafted a chance with 60 seconds - Zuber taking too long and seeing his eventual shot blocked after Stephan Lichtsteiner picked him out in space at the back post. "I know we can maybe play a little bit better and this maybe is the key for tomorrow".

Millwall midfielder George Saville is set to make his first start for Northern Ireland, but Stuart Dallas is likely to miss the game with a foot injury.

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The Swiss finally awoke as Haris Seferovic glanced Xherdan Shaqiri's cross wide and Blerim Dzemaili's drive across the six-yard box was diverted over by Gareth McAuley's outstretched leg.

Michael O'Neill's men gained momentum as the second period progressed and subjected Switzerland to spells of pressure in the final 30 minutes.

"It was decided by a really poor decision and a penalty that should never have been", O'Neill said, 25 minutes after the final whistle.

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

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