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Interviews

Brunt, Evans already looking ahead to second leg

10 November 2017

CHRIS Brunt and Jonny Evans insist Northern Ireland's World Cup dream is still alive despite a 1-0 defeat by Switzerland in the first leg of their play-off on Thursday evening.

The Albion duo, alongside fellow Baggie Gareth McAuley, played the full 90 minutes in Belfast as Ricardo Rodriguez's controversial penalty secured a Swiss advantage at the halfway stage in the tie.

The result means Michael O'Neill's men travel to Basel on Sunday needing an away win to confirm their spot at this summer's tournament.

"We didn't play as well as we could have," admitted Brunt.

"We're still in the game. I don't recall Michael [McGovern] having to make a save really. 

"We're disappointed with the penalty. Obviously we disagree with it. Sometimes you get them sometimes you don't and tonight we didn't get it."

But Evans believes all is not lost ahead of the decider this weekend.

"This will give us more motivation. Switzerland played very well tonight and made it difficult for us," said Jonny.

"But we have to go for it and change our mindset on Sunday.

"It's a situation where if we get an early goal it puts us back in it. If we can take it to extra time then the away goals rule could play in our favour."

Elsewhere, Matt Phillips was also on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline as Scotland were beaten by Netherlands at Pittodrie.

Matty donned the No. 9 shirt for the full game but couldn't prevent Memphis Depay securing victory for Dick Advocaat's side just before half-time. 


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