Swiss stay cool in Iceland
Late double strike sends Hitzfeld home happy
Last Updated: October 16, 2012 10:15pm
Tranquilo Barnetta: Schalke midfielder set Swiss on road to victory
Switzerland scored twice in the final 25 minutes to beat Iceland and extend their lead in Group E.
Tranquillo Barnetta broke the deadlock on 65 minutes before Mario Gavranovic clinched a win that moved the Swiss three points clear of the chasing pack after four games.
Iceland had begun the night with the chance to leapfrog their rivals at the top of the group and could have led on 60 minutes but Birkir Bjarnason shot against the crossbar.
Defeat meant Iceland dropped to third in the group with Norway's 3-1 win in Cyprus enough to move them up to second.
Switzerland made the early running when Barnetta and Xherdan Shaqiri fizzed shots over the crossbar.
Iceland showed why they have enjoyed a good start to the campaign, however, and a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick forced Diego Benaglio to tip over.
Shaqiri worked home goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson into action but Benaglio had to make the best save of the half just before the break when he pushed Alfred Finnbogason's shot from 12 yards wide.
Iceland continued to threaten after the break and almost led when Bjarnason thumped his shot against the bar.
It proved a decisive moment as Barnetta opened the scoring five minutes later with a curled finish into the top-right corner.
Gavranovic made the game safe for the Swiss 14 minutes from the end when he latched onto Stephan Lichtsteiner's pass from the right.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 16th Oct - Group F
Russia1 - 0Azerbaijan
Israel3 - 0Luxembourg
Portugal1 - 1N Ireland
Tue 16th Oct - Group I
Belarus2 - 0Georgia
Spain1 - 1France
Tue 16th Oct - Group G
Latvia2 - 0Liechtenstein
Bosnia3 - 0Lithuania
Slovakia0 - 1Greece
Tue 16th Oct - Group D
Andorra0 - 1Estonia
Romania1 - 4Netherlands
Hungary3 - 1Turkey
Tue 16th Oct - Group B
Czech Rep0 - 0Bulgaria
Italy3 - 1Denmark
Tue 16th Oct - Group H
Ukraine0 - 1Montenegro
San Marino0 - 2Moldova
Tue 16th Oct - Group A
Croatia2 - 0Wales
Macedonia1 - 0Serbia
Belgium2 - 0Scotland
Tue 16th Oct - Group E
Cyprus1 - 3Norway
Iceland0 - 2Switzerland
Albania1 - 0Slovenia
Tue 16th Oct - Group C
Faroe Islands1 - 4Rep Ireland
Austria4 - 0Kazakhstan
Germany4 - 4Sweden
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C
|4||Republic of Ireland||5||8|
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I