Corry Evans apologises for wife's vile tweet about referee

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill uses mind games to motivate his players

Jonny Evans was furious with referee Ovidiu Hategan after the game, andinsisted that the decision was worse than the infamous Thierry Henry penalty incident in 2009 that went on to dump the Republic of Ireland out at the same stage in 2009.

Michael O'Neill has admitted Northern Ireland have arrived in Basel as the "victim" of an injustice in the prestigious World Cup play-offs. I am not in a position to say the referee is incompetent but it's just staggering in this day and age when the stakes are so high that something like that is a game changer.

The wife of a Northern Ireland footballer at the centre of a penalty kick controversy has apologised for a racist tweet about the referee. At this point, a shot from Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri was blocked by the back of Corry Evans.

O'Neill was also incensed that referee Hategan only gave a yellow card to defender Fabian Schar for a wild fifth-minute hack at Stuart Dallas that injured the Leeds winger and looks to have ruled him out of Sunday's game. I will need to see it again. "We have enough time to refocus and there was clearly anger on the pitch and I was a little bit concerned with eight players on bookings, it would have been easy to get another one, but it's ironic that Corry is booked for that and now misses the second leg as well".

"I'm very pleased with the performance", Shaqiri added.

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"It is hard to play Northern Ireland - defensively they are very strong - but I thought we played a good match from the beginning in Belfast and created a couple of good chances".

"It was a clean sheet and we scored once - that's flawless for us".

In 2009 France and Ireland were involved in possibly the most infamous World Cup qualifying play-off in history, certainly in Europe, as the pair tried to book their place in the 2010 World Cup in South America.

She wrote: "And to think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!" The Swiss are ranked 11th in the world, are bidding to qualify for their fourth successive World Cup finals and their fifth major tournament in all, while they haven't lost in Basel since England beat them in a Euro qualifier in September 2014. We have to put more pressure on them than we did.

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