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We've met before - Northern Ireland vs Switzerland
WE’VE MET BEFORE
The sides have met only four times previously and the play-offs will be their first competitive meetings since their opening clashes in 1964.
Northern Ireland won the first-ever meeting in Belfast. The hosts shaded the qualifying fixture for the 1966 World Cup thanks to Johnny Crossan’s 46th-minute penalty in front of almost 29,000 fans at Windsor Park.
Exactly a month later, the Swiss gained revenge by beating Bertie Peacock’s side 2-1 in Lausanne. The one and only George Best had put the visitors into a 12th-minute lead but goals from Rene-Pierre Quentin and Jakob Kobi Kuhn made it a different story at the break, and Switzerland ran out 2-1 winners.
The Swiss went onto win Group Five, which also included the Netherlands and Albania, pipping the Northern Irish by a single point and denying them a place at the finals in England.
It was 34 years before the nations met again, in Belfast. The hosts also ran out 1-0 winners on this occasion, with Darren Patterson’s superb tenth-minute header proving decisive for Lawrie McMenemy’s men. Capped 17 times by his country, it was the Belfast-born defender’s only international goal.
The next and most recent clash came in Zurich in 2004, when Lawrie Sanchez’s side earned a goalless draw. Northern Ireland headed into the match on the back of their best run for 16 years and extended their unbeaten sequence to six games.
PAST MEETINGS VS SWITZERLAND
1964 Belfast WCQ N. Ireland 1 Switzerland 0
1964 Lausanne WCQ Switzerland 2 N. Ireland 1
1998 Belfast Friendly N. Ireland 1 Switzerland 0
2004 Zurich Friendly Switzerland 0 N. Ireland 0
OVERALL RECORD VS SWITZERLAND
Played N. Ireland Switzerland Draws
World Cup Qualifiers 2 1 1 0
Friendlies 2 1 0 1
Total 4 2 1 1