Switzerland and Croatia qualify for 2018 FIFA World Cup

Gianluigi Buffon

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"There might be more money in Scotland than there is Northern Ireland for managing the team but they [Northern Ireland] will probably have a great chance to get to the Euros next time because qualification is a little bit easier than the World Cup". Ricardo Rodriguez's spot-kick in Belfast on Thursday proved the difference between the two sides, as the Swiss held off some late pressure from the unfancied Northern Irish in the second leg at Basel in hard conditions after heavy rain. "We don't hold that against Switzerland", he said.

"Ultimately we've gone out to a poor decision in the first leg", he told Sky Sports after the second-leg 0-0 stalemate. We were the better team."We had to ride our luck at times but we were pushing until the 94th minute".

"Our performance and reaction tonight was fabulous".

"For some of these players it's unlikely that the World Cup will ever come round again. I'm very excited we've achieved our goal", goalkeeper Yann Sommer told television channel RTS.

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"I know it's a hard time and it will come for them and they will make considerations going forward, certainly the likes of Aaron and Gareth at 38 and 37, and Chris Brunt...these players that have had long and established Northern Ireland careers".

I can't say I have any great love of "the lovely game" of football. "I'm very proud that we have managed to qualify for the whole country".

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.

"If we had won 1-0 (in the first leg) it would have been very hard tonight", said Croatia coach Dalic, who only took over from the sacked Ante Cacic last month.

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