Switzerland’s Granit Xhaka tells Northern Ireland to get over penalty

• Arsenal midfielder feels the best team won in Belfast World Cup play-off
• Michael O’Neill admits his focus is on preparing for second leg in Basel

Granit Xhaka has told Northern Ireland to stop moaning about the controversial penalty that handed Switzerland the advantage in their World Cup play-off and insisted his country will confirm their superiority in Sunday’s second leg.

The Switzerland and Arsenal midfielder is clearly irritated his team’s strong first-leg display has been overshadowed by the spot-kick that decided the outcome. The referee Ovidiu Hategan awarded a penalty, scored by Ricardo Rodríguez, for deliberate handball by Corry Evans when Xherdan Shaqiri’s volley struck the now-suspended midfielder on the back. Xhaka claimed the controversy should not distract from his side’s dominance in Belfast but risked adding to Northern Ireland’s motivation for the return by insisting the penalty can be rendered insignificant by a commanding home display in Basel.

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