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Evans 'gutted' after 'disgraceful' penalty in Northern Ireland defeat

10 November 2017

Both the teams Northern Ireland and Switzerland are placed second in their respective groups.

Switzerland made the most of a controversial penalty converted by Ricardo Rodriguez to secure a 1-0 win away to Northern Ireland in a pulsating and bruising first leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff on Thursday.

Evans was close to the Stoke playmaker and had his arms tucked in as he turned his back, with replays inconclusive over whether it even struck his arm.

"I'm absolutely devastated about the decision but the game in Basel is more important and I will be there to support them".

"I thought he had blown for a foul or for offside, so to give a penalty for that, when nobody appealed, it is bewildering really".

"How can you book a player for that?" "I spent three hours in a conference the other week at Federation Internationale de Football Association on Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) and certainly when you see what happened tonight you would certainly be an advocate of it".

"If the linesman thinks it's a penalty he should indicate that".

Vladimir Petkovic's team arrived in Belfast on Tuesday ahead of the first leg, and Ward said: "They've got to take their chances. It doesn't qualify for any of the criteria you are looking for for a handball in the box".

In 2009, striker Thierry Henry's infamous and deliberate handball set up the goal that sent France to the 2010 World Cup at the expense of the Republic of Ireland. He was six yards from the incident, he has no one in his line of sight. "A penalty given in those circumstances, VAR would have cleared it up and said it's clearly not a pen".

O'Neill's grievances with Hategan were not limited to the penalty call.

The Swiss quickly got stuck in when Fabian Schaer was booked in the fifth minute for a wild late challenge on Stuart Dallas which O'Neill said should have been red.

"It is staggering to see", said O'Neill. "In an global game you rarely see a tackle like that and for it to only be punished with a yellow surprises me".

Corry Evans was equally furious and his misery was compounded by receiving a yellow card that rules him out of the return leg.

Evans himself described it as "disgraceful". I spent three hours in a conference with Uefa the other week on video assistant referees and when you see what happened tonight you would certainly be an advocate of it. VARs should be used for anything that is a defining decision in the game, which is clearly what we saw tonight.

Evans 'gutted' after 'disgraceful' penalty in Northern Ireland defeat