Switzerland win World Cup qualifiers, hosts face Italy

Switzerland played the World Cup qualifier against Italy on Tuesday, beating Lithuania 4-0.

The victory saw Switzerland take the draw against Italy ahead of next month’s final two rounds, starting with their meeting in Rome on November 12.

Italy are in the lead as the goal difference is two goals more than the Swiss, who took the biggest victory in qualifying on Tuesday to narrow the difference. The group winner is the only one to qualify directly for the World Cup finals in Qatar, and the runner-up will go to the 12-nation qualifiers in March.

Swiss striker Brielle Embolo scored two goals thanks to Renato Steffen’s high shot in 14 minutes just before half-time in Lithuania. Substitute Mario Gavranovic scored a fourth goal in added time for the second half.

The Italian European champions are aiming for a return to the World Cup after failing to qualify for the 2018 edition.

Italy host the Swiss national team before traveling to Northern Ireland three days later. Switzerland finish their home program against Bulgaria, who beat Sofia 3-1 in March.

Two second-half goals from Todor Nedelev helped Bulgaria beat Northern Ireland 2-1 on Tuesday, just hours after the Football Association election Borislav Mihailov re-established the country’s presidency almost two years after his resignation .

Mihailov, who was Bulgaria’s goalkeeper in the 1994 World Cup semi-finalist, beat candidates including former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

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