Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka takes aim at moaning Northern Ireland players

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka takes aim at moaning Northern Ireland players

The QPR striker won't be heading to Russian Federation next summer after Northern Ireland failed to overturn a 1-0 first leg deficit in Basel.

"We will take it match by match, opponent by opponent and we're not setting any limits".

Switzerland and Croatia became the next nations to secure their spots at the 2018 World Cup.

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The set-ball specialist is one of Europe's top left backs although he now finds himself in a struggling AC Milan side and had the misfortune to give away a decisive penalty when they lost the Milan derby last month.

"I'm very satisfied with my team and with what they have achieved, not just today because it's been a long process", Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic said. Had this game not had the world riding on it, it would have been written off as a farce, given how hard it was to play football out there. As a manger you can't ask for more then what we got. He tried to force Switzerland back and Chris Brunt tested Yann Sommer with two rockets from 30-yards.

At 26, Xherdan Shaqiri is heading to his third World Cup, while Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Rodriguez are both 25 and have matured as standouts from the 2009 Under-17 World Cup-winning team.

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"We are a good team, I think we are a better team than Northern Ireland, and tomorrow with all the fans and all the support we have here, we want to make them proud and we want to qualify for Russian Federation".

The game got worse as it went on though, the players' legs exhausted by having to slog through the mud.

That seemed to spook Switzerland into settling for what they already had as Northern Ireland started to take control, even if further chances were not forthcoming.

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"'The players are emotional and upset", O'Neill said. They were centimetres away from taking the tie to extra time, but as they painfully know, being the wrong side of a margin that fine is not enough.

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