WCQ Group E round-up

Norway upset by Iceland; Barnetta red spoils Switzerland win

Ottmar Hitzfeld: The Switzerland boss saw his side pick up three points despite having a man sent off

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Ten-man Switzerland began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a win on a night when there were also victories by two-goal margins for Iceland and Albania.

A goal in either half was enough to earn 10-man Switzerland a 2-0 winning start to their World Cup qualifying campaign as they eased past Group E opponents Slovenia in Ljubljana.

Goals from Granit Xhaka and Gokhan Inler secured victory that the performance of Ottmar Hitzfeld's side deserved.

There was a negative end to the game however as Switzerland's captain Tranquillo Barnetta was sent off with 15 minutes remaining.

Iceland also opened their campaign with a well-deserved victory over a below-par Norway side in Reykjavik.


Goals in either half from Kari Arnason and Alfred Finnbogason were just reward for a good performance against strong opposition.

Norway will be disappointed to drop points at the start of a qualifying campaign in which they have high hopes of reaching the finals in Brazil in two years.

Albania required two late goals to open their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-1 victory over Cyprus in Tirana.

Midfielder Armando Sadiku headed them in front with 10 minutes of the first half remaining.

But Cyprus were level in first-half stoppage time thanks to a 35-yard free-kick from Vincent Laban.

However, Edgar Cani headed Albania's second goal of the night with six minutes left and the result was secured two minutes later when fellow substitute Erjon Bogdani fired home from 30 yards.