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SwitzerlandSwitzerland
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
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Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
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Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
SwitzerlandSwitzerland
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Leg 1
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World Cup Group E: Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia

The ESPN FC crew discuss the World Cup draw.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the World Cup draw.

This has the feel of a pretty competitive group. Brazil, the second seeds, come up against the third-best teams in pot 2 and 3 and the best-ranked side in pot 4. Considering Brazil's history and tradition, and their form under Tite, they probably won't be worried, but it could have gone better.

Predicted finish

1. Brazil -- The Selecao qualified top of the toughest confederation with four games to spare and look the real deal under Tite.

2. Switzerland -- Below Brazil it's really...

 By PA Sport

Basel to replace pitch at ahead of Man United game after qualifier damage

Basel will replace the pitch on ahead of next week's Champions League game against Manchester United because of the damage sustained in Switzerland's World Cup qualifier.

Heavy rain in the build-up to Sunday's goalless draw against Northern Ireland meant the match was in some doubt leading up to kickoff. It went ahead but the boggy surface did not do either side any favours with the pitch cutting up and restricting the speed of the ball.

The club have decided it is so bad their only option is to...

 By PA Sport

Switzerland reach fourth straight World Cup finals with N. Ireland draw

SwitzerlandSwitzerland
Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
0
0
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Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
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Northern Ireland saw their World Cup dream die in Basel on Sunday, though it was a controversial penalty three days earlier that ultimately sent Switzerland through to Russia.

The Green and White Army will spend years seething over Ovidiu Hategan's decision to give a spot-kick for a handball against Corry Evans at Windsor Park, with the Northern Irish unable to overcome the deficit in a 0-0 draw at St Jakob-Park.

Michael O'Neill's side went down fighting, with the type of spirit that has typified...

 By PA Sport

Michael O'Neill insists Northern Ireland have moved past penalty decision

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill maintains his players still believe they can reach Russia and will not dwell on the penalty decision that could scupper their World Cup dream.

It is Switzerland who are currently on course to emerge from the playoffs with a finals ticket, having won 1-0 in Belfast thanks to a dubious penalty that still stings Northern Irish fans.

O'Neill insists his players are concentrating on overturning the deficit in Basel on Sunday, rather than stewing over referee Ovidiu...