By 90Min
November 13, 2017

Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood believes his side were 'shafted' by the controversial penalty decision in the first leg of their World Cup play-off, according to the Daily Mail.

The first leg saw Switzerland knick victory after the referee awarded the Swiss a penalty for a handball by Corry Evans, though the ball was struck at him from close range and it appeared to hit his shoulder anyway. AC Milan's Ricardo Rodriguez scored the resulting spot kick to earn the Swiss a 1-0 win in Belfast.

Michael O'Neill's side could only draw 0-0 in Sunday night's second leg in Basle, meaning hopes of a first World Cup in 32 years after now over. On-loan Fulham midfielder Norwood believes the poor decision ultimately cost his team, saying: "Shafted is the only word for it." 

He also added: "I will think about the penalty decision for years to come as it’s the only goal between the two sides and it’s knocked us out." 

Republic of Ireland now hold the regional hopes of reaching the finals, as they host Denmark in their play-off second leg on Tuesday night. The sides are locked at 0-0, but victory over the Danes would see Martin O'Neill's join England in Russia and qualify them for the first time since 2002.

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