1-0, Bernauer 17'. 2-0, Kiwic 42'. 3-0, Bernauer 46'. 4-0, Rinast 54'.
Switzerland 4-0 Northern Ireland - Euro 2017 Qualifying: Swiss maintain 100% record against battling visitors

Switzerland 4-0 Northern Ireland - Euro 2017 Qualifying: Swiss maintain 100% record against battling visitors

That's all she wrote for another qualifying campaign.

Jonathan Walsh

Despite their best efforts, Northern Ireland slipped to a four-nil defeat against a well-drilled Switzerland side; Vanessa Bernauer, Rahel Kiwic and Rachel Rinast got the goals.

The hosts had, of course, already qualified for the tournament next summer and finished off their campaign in style.

Northern Ireland did have their moments and hit the bar, but were powerless to prevent the Swiss from scoring four brilliant goals.

Switzerland dominate, Brennan unlucky

Unsurprisingly, Switzerland started on top and were unlucky not to take the lead when Jessica Poots made a fine stop from Bernauer's early effort on goal. However, Northern Ireland didn't learn their lesson and were punished by the VfL Wolfsburg midfielder's superb shooting from outside the area.

After winning the ball back on the right, the Swiss moved the ball swiftly inside and Bernauer let fly from 25 yards to pick out the bottom corner with a sweetly-struck drive.

The home dominance didn't let up and it was a case of desperate defending and last-ditch tackles that kept the score at one. Both Caragh Milligan and Sarah McFadden were forced into fine sliding tackles to prevent the opposition from working a better position; in Lara Dickenmann and Rinast, Milligan and Rachel Newborough were plenty busy.

To their credit, Northern Ireland didn't sit in their shell when they had the chance to go forward. Some less than convincing clearances from hopeful balls towards Lauren Brennan gave Alfie Wylie's side some hope that there was a way back into this game should Switzerland drop the tempo.

That's just what the visitors did and almost to great effect. Marissa Callaghan tested Gaëlle Thalmann with a volley from the edge of the area, before the experienced midfielder won the ball back on 20 yards from goal and shifted it to Brennan. She wriggled a shooting opportunity and rattled the bar with a magnificent curling effort.

The Swiss then capitalised and broke quickly to win a free-kick on the edge of the Northern Irish area. Rinast stepped up and sent a brilliantly delivery to the back post as Kiwic towered above her marker to make it heads home from the free-kick to make it 2-0. Dickenmann almost made it three, but her effort looped narrowly wide.

Swiss turn on the style in the second period as NI battle on

Any hopes of a strong start from Northern Ireland were dashed almost immediately and in some style. Bernauer picked up a clever flick from Ramona Bachmann, and proceeded to chip Poots with such finesse even Bachmann herself would have been proud of as the Wolfsburg duo celebrated together.

Poots then made a stunning stop to deny Martina Moser's effort at the near post but any respite was in vain. Dickenmann took the resulting corner quickly and found Rinast waiting on the edge of the area, before thundering a rasping drive into the far corner; Poots was unsighted with the sea of bodies in front of her.

After that, Switzerland took the tempo down a notch but still continued to threaten. Fabienne Humm twice had headed chances to add to the tally after coming off the bench, but both went narrowly over and wide with the visiting defence applying just enough pressure to make her miss.

The hosts could have scored again late on had it not been for Newborough's superb tackle to deny Florijana Ismaili on the line. It would finish 4-0 to the Swiss, which is perhaps harsh on the effort Northern Ireland put in but the individual quality from the likes of Bernauer proved enough to break down their dogged defence.