Embolo takes big step towards World Cup

Breel Embolo and the Swiss national team came away 1-0 winners in the first leg of their World Cup play-off against Northern Ireland. Elsewhere, Thilo Kehrer and Alexander Nübel enjoyed another victory with the Germany U21s.

Embolo brought on in the second half

Thanks to a converted penalty by former Wolfsburg man Ricardo Rodriguez on the hour mark, Switzerland were able to win the away leg of their World Cup qualifier play-off against Northern Ireland by one goal to nil. Breel Embolo was brought on as a substitute after 77 minutes in this crucial win for the Swiss national team, who will qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia with a draw in Basel on Sunday.

Kehrer and Nübel in rampant victory

With Thilo Kehrer as captain and Alexander Nübel between the sticks, the Germany U21s celebrated an emphatic 7-0 victory over Azerbaijan. For manager Stefan Kuntz it was the third win in four European Qualifiers. The goals were scored by Marcel Hartel with a hat-trick, Nadiem Amiri, Aaron Seydel, Lukas Klostermann and Levin Öztunali. Kehrer played 56 minutes before coming off, Nübel played the whole 90 minutes. On Tuesday, the U21s face another qualifier in Israel. Kick-off will be at 17:30 in Ramat Gan.

Bentaleb forced into early departure from Algerian national team

Algeria will have to make do without Nabil Bentaleb in their final World Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic. The midfield man had to abandon his international duties early due to muscle problems.