Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill says he is devastated yet proud of his team following their performance against Switzerland.
The Swiss dominated the ball from start to finish but controversially took the lead on 58 minutes when Ricardo Rodriguez converted a penalty after Corry Evans was penalized for handball.
It means Northern Ireland, who failed to register a single shot on target, have it all to do in Sunday's return leg in Basel if they are to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.
Keen to restore parity before Sunday's trip to Switzerland, Northern Ireland mounted a late rally but they failed to level the contest, Josh Magennis heading the hosts' best chance well wide on 71 minutes.
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