Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Lisa Evans: Footballer's wife sorry for racist tweet

Lisa Evans: Footballer's wife sorry for racist tweet

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill says his players have to forget about the penalty incident which over-shadowed the fact his team failed to perform to their usual level in the first leg.

Ricardo Rodriguez's controversial penalty has the Swiss in pole position to win the play-off and reach Russian Federation, with Northern Ireland needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit on Sunday to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 1986.

Lisa Evans hit out at Ovidiu Hategan after the referee controversially made a decision to award a penalty against the football star during a World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

But Arsenal midfielder Xhaka insists he can not comprehend why the Northern Irish are continuing to complain about referee Ovidiu Hategan and says the Swiss will make their extra class tell at St Jakob-Park.

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O'Neill was also incensed that referee Hategan only gave a yellow card to defender Fabian Schar for a wild fifth-minute hack at Stuart Dallas that injured the Leeds winger and looks to have ruled him out of Sunday's game.

"I've analysed the match again and there were decisions that went against us, especially in the 85th minute. I spent three hours in a video conference with Federation Internationale de Football Association the other week on video assistant referees (VAR) and certainly when you see what happened tonight you would be an advocate of it".

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While Northern Ireland were left feeling aggrieved, the Swiss thought the victory, however it was achieved, was a fair reflection of their domination.

"I'm very pleased with the performance", Shaqiri added.

"It was a clean sheet and we scored once - that's ideal for us". No team has ever lost the first leg of a World Cup play-off at home and retrieved the situation. That allowed us to stop Northern Ireland playing their preferred long balls forward. They need to score to try and qualify. We have to put more pressure on them than we did.

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