Xherdan Shaqiri surprised by Switzerland penalty against N. Ireland

Xherdan Shaqiri surprised by Switzerland penalty against N. Ireland

Xherdan Shaqiri surprised by Switzerland penalty against N. Ireland

Xherdan Shaqiri called Switzerland's night in Belfast "perfect", but was shocked by the penalty that gave them the advantage in their World Cup play-off with Northern Ireland.

Highlights of the World Cup play-off first leg between Northern Ireland and Switzerland.

'I don't know why it is such a big topic or why there is so much discussion, ' he said.

"The lads said to keep my chin up; these things happen in football but the referee didn't help us at all tonight". "We have enough time to refocus and there was clearly anger on the pitch and I was a little bit concerned with eight players on bookings, it would have been easy to get another one, but it's ironic that Corry is booked for that and now misses the second leg as well".

One user replied: "I realise it was the heat of the moment and you must feel bad now but the words were incredibly hurtful to the Romanian community to whom you should apologise".

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"It's odd because I had a feeling the referee knew that he had made a wrong decision and I'm sure he was getting feed information throughout the game and he could tell with everybody else's reaction that maybe he had made the wrong call".

"I'm very pleased with the performance", Shaqiri added.

"I think we have to be better in possession". But it was too late, he has given the decision and it's hard to take. I am not in a position to say the referee is incompetent but it's just staggering in this day and age when the stakes are so high that something like that is a game changer.

Corry Evans is controversially suspended for Northern Ireland after his harsh yellow card in the first leg, while Stuart Dallas is unlikely to be fit after suffering an ankle injury at Hampden Park.

Jonny Evans had earlier made a terrific block to deny Blerim Dzemaili, who later provided a cross that Seferovic narrowly failed to reach as it zipped across the face of the goal. "We sent out a signal that we were there, going in for headers, duels and tackles", said Petkovic.

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