Michael O'Neill: Northern Ireland run an 'amazing achievement'

Gareth Mc Auley says Sunday's clash against Switzerland could be his last game for Northern Ireland

However, Switzerland ultimately held on for the win, with Rodríguez's controversial first leg penalty proving decisive. "I want to wish them all the best from my side". They also made the knockout stage of Euro 2016.

O'Neill admitted that some of his long-serving players like Gareth McAuley, Aaron Hughes and Chris Brunt, could now call time on their global careers.

And Ricardo Rodriguez sent a 25-yard just wide of the right-hand post soon after. At this level, for a group of players that deserve more...we should still be fighting for our place to go to Russian Federation.

The result secures Switzerland a place in Russian Federation - their fourth consecutive World Cup - and means Northern Ireland's hopes of a fourth finals appearance are over.

"As I said to the players themselves, there is no need to make any rash decisions on anything they want to do". 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. Going forward the team must get more from players like Kyle Lafferty and Stuart Dallas but defensively there were some nice performances by Chris Brunt and Jonny Evans in that first leg.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has taken aim at Northern Ireland's players.

Chris Brunt anxious the host first, forcing Yann Sommer into a flying save to keep a stunning 30-yard drive out of the top-right corner, before Seferovic inexplicably failed to direct Shaqiri's pinpoint cross beyond Michael McGovern with a glancing header.

"We should learn from the Northern Ireland supporters who continued supporting there team all the time, even though they were behind". Shaqiri's shot forced Michael McGovern down low to save, Seferovic's header hit Zuber, Zuber himself had a shot saved by McGovern's legs before flashing another effort wide. We would still be playing extra-time.

"'The players are emotional and upset", O'Neill said.

There were chances at both ends and Northern Ireland went close to equalising late on.

He has warned that Switzerland will end all the debate about the spot kick that settled the Windsor Park game on Thursday by underlining their superiority and finishing the job in the second leg here tomorrow. 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.

Related News: