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Switzerland missed the chance to build a dominant lead in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E after struggling through a goalless draw in Cyprus.
PA Sport

PA Sport
24 Mar 2013 - 8:38 AM  UPDATED 24 Mar 2013 - 9:07 AM

Ottmar Hitzfeld's men pulled two points clear of second-placed Iceland but will be thinking of what could have been after Haris Seferovic missed a golden chance in second half stoppage time.

Cyprus, meanwhile, moved off the bottom and above Slovenia thanks to a point earned from an impressive display in which Dimitris Christofi twice went dangerously close.

Gokhan Inler warmed Antonis Georgallides's palms first but it was Cyprus that would dominate the early exchanges.

Compact football allowed Christos Theophilou in for a free header before Konstantinos Charalambidis blasted just past a post.

Xherdan Shaqiri then spurned a clear chance and the Swiss were nearly punished when Yann Sommer tipped Christofi's drive to safety.

Konstantinos Makridis came even closer when he hit the upright in the 33rd minute.

Cyprus pressed on after the break and Sommer did well to push another Christofi thunderbolt over his crossbar.

Shaqiri then repeated the trick at the other end with Georgallides equally wise to the move.

Both sides enjoyed late chances to score a winner, with Georgios Efrem's dipping drive being held by Sommer three minutes from time.

Then, seven minutes into time added on, Seferovic nodded the ball just off target from six yards out.