LEEDS UNITED winger Stuart Dallas quickly returned to fitness for Northern Ireland but was unable to prevent his World Cup dream from ending against Switzerland.
Dallas received a crunching tackle from Fabian Schar during Thursday night’s play-offs first leg qualifier in which the Whites ace was later substituted for Jamie Ward. The 26-year-old suffered a heavily bruised foot making him a doubt for tonight’s second leg in Basel but Dallas played the full 90 minutes of a goalless draw.
Switzerland qualified for the World Cup as a result of a 1-0 win on aggregate and attention now turns to Whites centre-back Pontus Jansson’s bid to grace the international tournament next summer with Sweden. Jansson was an unused substitute as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in Friday’s first leg in Stockholm and the Swedes will look to finish the job in tomorrow’s second leg in Milan.
Whites midfielder Eunan O’Kane will then be hoping his Republic of Ireland team can record the victory they need to book a ticket to Russia in Tuesday’s second leg at home to Denmark. O’Kane failed to make the bench for Saturday night’s first leg in Copenhagen which ended in a goalless draw.
Whites winger Gjanni Alioski also played 89 minutes for Macedonia and set up the opening goal as his side beat Norway 2-0 on Saturday evening in an international friendly. And former Leeds midfielder Lewis Cook has received his first call up to the England side for Tuesday night’s friendly with Brazil at Wembley. Cook left Leeds for Bournemouth in July 2016.
United’s Conor Shaughnessy is also away on international duty and is set to represent the Republic of Ireland Under-21s on Tuesday in their Under-21 Euros qualifier in Norway.
Leeds will return to action with Sunday’s Championship clash with Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough at Elland Road with the Whites approaching the clash following four successive defeats and seven league losses from their last nine games.