However, they failed to register a single effort on target in the opening 45 minutes, which might have concluded with a Swiss goal had Stephan Lichtsteiner kept his feet from Blerim Dzemaili's flick-on.
"Our support has been fantastic and they will come to support us again".
This, however, was not the way the referee saw it - awarding a penalty for handball by the defender, who also received a yellow card which would rule him out of the second leg in Basel on Sunday.
It's been 31 years since Northern Ireland last played at a World Cup and that run doesn't look like ending any time soon.
Number of deadly overdoses in BC passes 1100 for 2017
Eighty overdose deaths were reported province-wide in September, representing a 31 per cent increase from September 2016. Fentanyl was detected in 83 per cent of this year's deaths, most often laced in heroin, cocaine or methamphetamines.