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Once they dropped in Switzerland, the Republic of Irelands hopes of qualifying automatically for Euro 2020 remainder on next months home game with Denmark.
Victory could have reserved the Irishs place but Edimilson Fernandes and Haris Seferovic hit the aims.
Qualification will be secured by A triumph on the Danes on 18 November from Group D.
However, the Irish would be Seamus Coleman, who had been sent off in conceding a second-half penalty superbly saved by Darren Randolph.
After Tuesdays match had been threatened by rain, Switzerland stride afforded Fernandes hammered despite the attempts to keep the close-range shot of Shane Duffy in the next in the closing seconds and Benfica striker Seferovics 16th-minute target.
Together with the Republic shifting to a more familiar 4-4-2 from their early formation, they made pressure however, the Swiss held firm to place themselves back on course for eligibility after their defeat in Copenhagen on Saturday.
The Republic best Group D goal difference from Denmark with Switzerland a point behind but Danes and Swiss have matches in hand, that come against sides Gibraltar and Georgia respectively 15 November.
With improbable slips by the Swiss against Georgia and into their final game in Gibraltar – or Denmark – only a Republic win from the Danes in their game will probably be sufficient to secure qualification for McCarthys side.
When the Swiss only select up four points from their two matches the Irish would need to win by two objects.
If this course fails, they may nevertheless have a play-off places choice.
McCarthy handed a first start following his cameo at Saturdays uninspiring lure in Georgia to Brighton youngster Aaron Connolly but instead it was the Breel Embolo who had been the most effective attacker in the first half that was decisive of Borussia Monchengladbach.
With Embolo discovering space all too readily, he helped the carve out a set of chances and Seferovics finish through Shane Duffys legs from beyond the box undid the Republics clear plan of holding out and irritating the home .
After the Swiss had commanded the first halfthe Republic rallied but beyond using a Glenn Whelan shot blocked, had little to reveal in the method of clearcut opportunities.
Colemans dismissal came after he was adjudged to have managed an Embolo shot from the 76th minute, which followed his first-half yellow card for the exchange with Arsenals Granit Xhaka.
While Fabian Schar also led before Fernandess clinching aim from the Republic woodwork in the second half replacement Ricardo Rodriguezs spot-kick was superbly saved by randolph.
The display in Saturdays 0-0 draw in Georgia of the Republic came in for criticism and McCarthy opted for the formation that was modified in addition to three changes.
As Callum Robinson dropped out, together with Preston midfielder Alan Browne brighton youngster Connolly partnered James Collins in assault.
Sheffield Uniteds Enda Stevens returned set up of Matt Doherty but had been part of a defence alongside John Egan and Shane Duffy as expected.
Despite Saturdays 1-0 defeat by Denmark, Swiss boss Vladimir Petkovic opted for an unchanged because the home side quickly took charge and his faith was honored.
The signs were ominous for its people as Xhaka analyzed Randolph at the seventh minute before player of the year Seferovic blasted low through the legs of Duffy following Jeff Hendrick header.
In keeper Yann Sommer, Duffy led a Glenn Whelan corner straight In the other end before the break but it was a Republic goal effort that was rare.
After abandoning his three in the formation midway through the first halfof McCarthy introduced Callum ODowda to get striker Collins and it helped the visitors produce some pressure in the next quarter.
Nevertheless, the Swiss continued to split out the better opportunities, with Randolph having to tip above a header and then seeing the header come back off a post of Schar.
Connolly was substituted by Scott Hogan on 70 minutes before Colemans dismissal as he picked up a yellow card after conceding the punishment.
The Randolph stretched to keep out Rodriguezs spot-kick but can do nothing as Fernandes blasted in from close range in the last moment of injury-time despite the attempts of Duffy.