REYKJAVIK (Reuters) – Switzerland kept their Nations League semi-final hopes alive and sent Iceland down into the second tier with a 2-1 win in rainy Reykjavik in their League A Group Two match on Monday.
Haris Seferovic and Michael Lang scored the Swiss goals in the second half while debutant goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo made three key saves for the visitors.
Switzerland, who thumped Iceland 6-0 in September, have six points from three games, level with group leaders Belgium who have a game in hand. Iceland have lost all three games and will finish bottom of the section.
Belgium host Iceland on Nov 15. before visiting Switzerland in what will be the group’s decisive game three days later.
Cameroon-born Mvogo prevented Iceland from taking a halftime lead with a diving save from Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson was not tested until the 51st minute when he stopped a dipping shot from Steven Zuber, but Switzerland went ahead a minute later when Seferovic headed in Granit Xhaka’s pinpoint cross.
Mvogo made a brilliant point-blank save from Alfred Finnbogason’s header before Michael Lang turned in Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross for the second goal in the 67th minute.
Mvogo was finally beaten by a long-range Finnbogason shot in the 81st, Iceland’s first goal in the group.
The Swiss then survived a late rally from Iceland with Fabian Schaer heading off the line and Mvogo tipping over a fierce Sigurdsson drive to secure the win.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)