Northern Ireland and their Fermanagh contingent of Michael McGovern, Kyle Lafferty and Roy Carroll have been left with a mountain to climb in their bid to make the 2018 World Cup.

That's because a controversial penalty decision consigned Northern Ireland to defeat at the National Stadium at Windsor Park tonight as Switzerland won this first leg encounter 1-0.

McGovern had no chance with Ricardo Rodriguez's well placed kick which was the only goal of a game in which Switzerland dominated possession.

McGovern was up to anything that came his way and made a good save from Swiss centre forward Haris Seferovic.

The visitors went close with a couple of other well struck efforts off target but never really troubled McGovern and a strong home defence.

At the other end, Kyle Lafferty's good goal scoring performances for Hearts earned him a start up front but Northern Ireland struggled to get good ball at midfield and bring the front men into the game.

Lafferty came off in the 77th minute.

The second leg takes place on Sunday and it will take something special from all concerned to make the World Cup.