The two nations looked set to repeat the goalless draw they shared in
Nicosia in March until Switzerland substitute Haris Seferovic popped up in
the 90th minute to earn his side a deserved win.
The result leaves Ottmar Hitzfeld's team with a four-point advantage
at the top of Group E over Albania and five points clear of Iceland in
With both Albania and Iceland dropping points the previous night, Switzerland
knew it could significantly boost its FIFA World Cup hopes with a win, but it appeared it would ultimately be frustrated by a fine
performance from Cyprus goalkeeper Antonis Georgallides.
Georgallides enjoyed some luck early on when Mario Gavranovic's
eighth-minute header came back off the post, but the veteran custodian
then kept Switzerland at bay with superb saves to deny Xherdan Shaqiri and
Gavranovic either side of half-time.
Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio was then called into the action
to tip behind efforts from Nektarios Alexandrou and Charalambos
Kyriakou as last-placed Cyprus rallied before Georgallides found himself back in the firing line.
With nine minutes to go he did brilliantly well to keep out a
Gavranovic shot at the expense of a corner, and then in the 88th minute
he parried Shaqiri's left-footed shot with his feet.
However, with a clean sheet almost within his grasp, Georgallides was
finally beaten right at the end as replacement Seferovic raced on
to Shaqiri's superb throughball before cleverly dinking his shot over
the Cyprus goalkeeper.