Croatia, Switzerland qualify for World Cup

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I can't say I have any great love of "the handsome game" of football.

But we know if something came up, where it would be hard to turn down, no-one would begrudge him'.

Over in Basel, Switzerland fullback Ricardo Rodriguez, who scored a controversial penalty which gave them a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Belfast last Thursday, made a goalline clearance from a Jonny Evans header late in the game which prevented the tie going into extra time.

For the first 30 minutes Greece were in control.

Northern Ireland face a fight to hold on to manager Michael O'Neill after their failure to reach the World Cup finals.

Seferovic should have settled it in the 85th minute but instead shot high and wide - and was substituted nearly immediately. We were the better team."We had to ride our luck at times but we were pushing until the 94th minute".

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Switzerland continued to push for a crucial opening goal, but Gareth McAuley did well to help Blerim Dzemaili's shot over the crossbar, and Benfica striker Seferovic again headed a Shaqiri delivery off target.

The lure of replacing Strachan and returning Scotland to a major European competition could also prove tempting but there are concerns that O'Neill's rising reputation may have put him out of their price range.

The Swiss, who finished second to Portugal in qualifying Group B despite winning nine of 10 matches, came out of the blocks quickly after half-time with Zuber seeing an effort blocked and left-back Rodriguez drilling narrowly wide.

The SFA want to include Austin MacPhee, the Northern Ireland assistant, on the backroom team if they appoint O'Neill.

"But from a football point of view, Michael's first thought is to defend and he has Premier League defenders in the Northern Ireland squad".

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