Switzerland draws 0-0 at Cyprus in WCup qualifier

Switzerland wasted a series of chances in a 0-0 draw with Cyprus

in a World Cup qualifying match on Saturday, though stretched its

lead atop the group.

With Cyprus in economic turmoil, the stadium in its capital

Nicosia was almost empty.

Swiss forward Xherdan Shaqiri was charitable to his hosts in

dragging a 15th-minute shot wide – and then missed a glaring chance

when he couldn’t connect with the ball from almost on the goal line

around the half-hour mark. Innocent Emeghara and Valentin Stocker

also spurned clear chances in a hectic spell.

Stocker directed his shot wide in the 79th when goalkeeper

Antonis Georgallides was out of position.

For Cyprus, Constantinos Makrides struck the post with a curling

33rd-minute shot.

Switzerland remained unbeaten and leads by two points from

Albania and Iceland midway through the 10-match program.