Montreal Impact’s Blerim Dzemaili helps Switzerland clinch World Cup spot

Blerim Dzemaili - Montreal Impact - Happy

Neither Canada nor the United States will take part in World Cup 2018, but a growing list of MLS players will, and Blerim Dzemaili added his name to those ranks on Sunday.

The Montreal Impact star started at the heart of midfield for Switzerland as they held Northern Ireland to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their UEFA qualifying playoff at rain-soaked St Jakob-Park in Basel.

That result sees the Swiss advance to Russia 1-0 on aggregate thanks to their contentious 1-0 first-leg win at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Thursday, a game decided by a controversial penalty-kick decision.

On Sunday Dzemaili logged just over an hour in an attacking midfield role for the Rossocrociati (“Red Crosses”) before making way for substitute Admir Mehmedi, as the home side spurned several clear chances to ice their advancement and thus were left to sweat when the Northern Irish threatened on several occasions.

Switzerland have now qualified for four straight World Cups.