Switzerland thump Bulgaria to seal World Cup place ahead of Italy | Football News

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LUCERNE: Switzerland striker Noah Okafor scored his first worldwide aim as they brushed apart Bulgaria 4-0 to seal a spot at subsequent yr’s World Cup in Qatar as Group C winners.
Ruben Vargas, Cedric Itten and Remo Freuler had been additionally on the right track for the hosts as they moved to 18 factors from eight matches, two factors forward of European champions Italy.
The Italians had been held to a 0-0 draw away to Northern Eire and should now play in March’s playoffs.
Switzerland certified for a fifth successive World Cup in some fashion, having additionally hit the publish twice and had two objectives dominated out for offside as they reduce by means of the Bulgarian defence with ease.
It was a particular night time for Swiss captain Xherdan Shaqiri, who marked his one centesimal look with a superb efficiency, getting the ball rolling by organising the house facet’s opener.
“It is like a dream for me in my one centesimal recreation for Switzerland,” an excited Shaqiri informed reporters. “I’ve to pay an enormous praise to the workforce. We believed in it, we went into this match with confidence. Seldom has a day been as lovely.”
Okafor went shut when he struck the publish and the ball rolled agonisingly alongside the goalline earlier than being cleared.
However the 21-year-old was in a position to rating his first worldwide aim when Shaqiri’s cross supplied a free header from six yards.
Shaqiri got here near doubling the benefit when he struck the publish from close-range.
Mario Gavranovic laid on a go for Vargas to run onto and the latter blasted the ball into the web to make it 2-0 within the 57th minute.
The house facet had two objectives dominated out for offside in fast succession, earlier than Itten scored a 3rd, and the rout was full when Freuler rifled the ball previous Bulgaria goalkeeper Ivan Karadzhov from the sting of the field.
“We additionally need to say thanks to (coach) Murat Yakin,” Shaqiri stated. “It was not straightforward for him to observe in Vladimir Petkovic’s footsteps. He did an important job, the workforce is in wonderful form. It is enjoyable to play with this workforce.
“A whole lot of gamers had been lacking, it might be good if everybody might have been there … we’re all going to Qatar collectively!”

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