18/08/2004 Zurich Switzerland 0-0
Roy Carroll, Aaron Hughes, Tony Capaldi, Stephen Craigan (Michael Duff), Mark Williams (Colin Murdock), Danny Sonner, Keith Gillespie (Paul McVeigh), Damien Johnson, David Healy (Gary Hamilton), Andy Smith, Stuart Elliott (Chris Brunt)
Northern Ireland have now went six games unbeaten after their scoreless draw with Switzerland in Zurich. Lawrie Sanchez will feel his side could have won with David Healy, Stuart Elliott and Gary Hamilton all having great opportunities after half-time.
But Switzerland had a couple of chances in the first half and Ludovic Magnin hit the woodwork in the second period. Also substitute Andre Muff also hit the bar with a header late on.
Afer a quiet start, the first chance fell to Switzerland when Johan Vonlanthen has his shot blocked by Northern Ireland Captain Aaron Hughes.
Switzerland pressed on and Christoph Spycher’s cross caused panic in the Northern Ireland defence but Vonlanthen just failed to make contact.
On the 27th minute Johann Vogel hit a shot just over the bar as Switerland began to dominate.
Northern Ireland had a good chance to score about 10 minutes before half but Stephen Craigan headed wide from a Keith Gillespie free kick.
After half time the Swiss began attacking and pushing forward and Roy Carrol had to react well to divert a fierce Vonlanthen shot over the bar. And from the corner an unmarked Magnin headed against the bar.
The lads escaped going a goal down again when Carroll managed to block a Vogel effort which had deflected off Aaron Hughes.
But now it was Switzerland’s turn to escape when David Healy sprinted ahead of the Swiss defence but his shot was tipped over by Pascal Zuberbuhler in the 67th minute.
Probably Northern Ireland’s best chance fell to Stuart Elliott but his close-range effort was cleared off the line by Vogal in the 72nd minute.
The pressure from Northern Ireland continued and sub Gary Hamilton should have scored but the Portadown striker’s header from seven yards was well wide.
Late on in the match Lawrie Sanchez brought on Chris Brunt for his first international cap but the winger didn’t really get a chance to make an impression.
Right at the end of the match Switzerland almost grabbed a goal but sub Andre Muff headed against the woodwork.
Switzerland: Zuberbuhler, Haas, Muller, Murat Yakin (Henchoz 46), Spycher, Huggel (Magnin 46), Vogel (Lonfat 77), Wicky, Cabanas (Frei 82), Hakan Yakin, Vonlanthen (Muff 60).
Subs Not Used: Roth.
Northern Ireland: Carroll, Aaron Hughes, Craigan (Duff 78), Williams (Murdock 67), Capaldi, Gillespie (McVeigh 51), Sonner, Johnson, Elliott (Brunt 81), Healy (Hamilton 71), Smith.
Subs Not Used: Taylor.
Ref: Nicolai Vollquartz (Denmark).