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Corry Evans terms penalty decision against Northern Ireland as disgraceful

Northern Ireland midfielder Corry Evans was left disappointed after the referee controversially awarded a penalty for his handball versus Switzerland on Thursday night. The Blackburn Rovers ace had very less time to react in the penalty box, and it appeared that the ball went on to hit his hand rather than the opposite.

Swiss left-back Ricardo Rodriguez converted the penalty to hand his nation a 1-0 victory in the first leg of the World Cup playoff, and Evans felt that the decision against him was disgraceful. Meanwhile, the Irishman was also booked as a result of his handball, and this has left him absolutely gutted as he will now serve a one-match suspension.

"It was disgraceful. I clearly didn't put my hand up. It hit me on the back of the shoulder and I'm absolutely gutted. He's booked me as well, which means I'm out of the second leg as well, which is devastating," he is quoted as saying by The Guardian.

The victory places the Swiss firmly in the driver's seat as they can now play for a goalless in Basel in order to reach the World Cup finals in Russia. Nevertheless, Vladimir Petkovic's will be playing for the victory after they secured a confidence-boosting win at Belfast where they had plenty of additional chances to find the scoresheet.

Switzerland had more than two-thirds of the possession, and they managed to prevent the hosts from getting a shot on target throughout the match. The Swiss won all their five matches at home in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers, and they are pretty in the driver's seat to reach their fourth consecutive finals in Russia next summer. Meanwhile, Croatia cruised through the other playoff on the night as they thumped Euro 2004 champions Greece by a 4-1 scoreline at Stadion Maksimir.