Switzerland, Croatia seal World Cup spots

Croatia and Switzerland qualified for next year's World Cup after 0-0 draws with Greece and Northern Ireland respectively in their play-off second legs yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Croatia, who had beaten Greece 4-1 in last week's first leg in Zagreb, will be playing in their fifth World Cup.

"We had a good match in Zagreb, but it was difficult here. If we had won 1-0 (in the first leg), it would have been very difficult tonight," said Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic, who took over from the sacked Ante Cacic only last month.

Over in Basel, Switzerland fullback Ricardo Rodriguez, who scored a controversial penalty which gave them a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in Belfast last Thursday, made a goalline clearance from a Jonny Evans header late in the game which prevented the tie going into extra time. - REUTERS