World Cup qualifiers: Switzerland's 1-0 win ended Slovenia's qualification hopes
Last Updated: 15/10/13 9:37pm
Jasmin Kurtic and Blerim Dzemaili tussle for the ball
Slovenia's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup were dashed by a 1-0 defeat in Switzerland on Tuesday night.
Granit Xhaka's 74th-minute goal earned the Group E winners victory and ended the visitors' hopes of claiming second spot in the pool.
Iceland held on to the play-off spot thanks to their 1-1 draw in Norway as Slovenia finished two points behind in third.
Switzerland went into the match knowing their place in Brazil next summer was already assured and it was no surprise it was Slovenia who started with greater urgency.
Nejc Pecnik fired in a shot after eight minutes which home goalkeeper Yann Sommer tipped over the bar.
Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic then punched away a Haris Seferovic header before parried away a Reto Ziegler free-kick.
The Inter Milan keeper was keeping his side in it at the end of the first half as he produced another fine save, tipping over Admir Mehmedi's shot following a corner.
The Swiss pressure continued after the break as Haris Seferovic headed over from a Barnetta free-kick.
Slovenia knew just one goal could put them in the play-offs, though, and Kevin Kampl brought a superb save out of Sommer.
They were undone in the 74th minute, however, as Xhaka received the ball from Blerim Dzemaili and crashed a finish into the top corner from 20 yards.
Slovenia responded well as they looked to stage a late fightback, Milivoje Novakovic and Zlatan Ljubijankic both heading against the bar in a mad goalmouth scramble, but they ran out of time as defeat ended their World Cup hopes.
FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Tue 15th Oct - Group E
Cyprus0 - 0Albania
Norway1 - 1Iceland
Switzerland1 - 0Slovenia
Tue 15th Oct - Group F
Azerbaijan1 - 1Russia
Israel1 - 1N Ireland
Portugal3 - 0Luxembourg
Tue 15th Oct - Group G
Greece2 - 0Liechtenstein
Lithuania0 - 1Bosnia
Latvia2 - 2Slovakia
Tue 15th Oct - Group D
Hungary2 - 0Andorra
Turkey0 - 2Netherlands
Romania2 - 0Estonia
Tue 15th Oct - Group B
Bulgaria0 - 1Czech Rep
Denmark6 - 0Malta
Italy2 - 2Armenia
Tue 15th Oct - Group A
Serbia5 - 1Macedonia
Scotland2 - 0Croatia
Belgium1 - 1Wales
Tue 15th Oct - Group C
Faroe Islands0 - 3Austria
Rep Ireland3 - 1Kazakhstan
Sweden3 - 5Germany
Tue 15th Oct - Group H
San Marino0 - 8Ukraine
Montenegro2 - 5Moldova
England2 - 0Poland
Tue 15th Oct - Group I
France3 - 0Finland
Spain2 - 0Georgia
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||10||14|
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