Granit Xhaka is heading to the World Cup in Russia next summer, after his Switzerland side beat Northern Ireland over two legs in their qualifying play-off.
The midfielder played 90 minutes in each game, helping his country win 1-0 in Belfast on Thursday night, thanks to Ricardo Rodriguez’s second-half penalty.
Xhaka retained his place for Sunday evening’s return match in Basel, as Switzerland held Northern Ireland to a goalless draw at St. Jakob-Park. Again Rodriguez made the telling difference, clearing Jonny Evans’ goal-bound header off the line in the final few minutes of the game.
It means Switzerland are the first team to have qualified for the World Cup via the play-offs, with Croatia, Greece, Sweden, Italy, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland all in action over the coming days.
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