Switzerland's hopes of establishing a commanding four-point lead atop FIFA World Cup qualifying Group E were dashed as they were held to a goalless draw by Cyprus.
Following Norway's home defeat on Friday by Albania, the visitors could have taken a stranglehold on the section with victory in Nicosia, but in the absence of suspended coach Ottmar Hitzfeld were left frustrated by their failure to take several presentable opportunities. As it is, Switzerland lead Iceland, who yesterday won 2-1 in Slovenia, and Albania by two points going into the next set of fixtures in June.
One of Switzerland's best chances came on the half-hour mark, when Xherdan Shaqiri could not convert a Haris Seferovic cross. Soon after, Innocent Emeghara fired over from ten metres and Valentin Stocker was unable to beat Antonis Giorgallides after running clear on the Cyprus goal.
The hosts, meanwhile, offered a sporadic threat, Christos Theophilou heading wide early on before Constantinos Makridis hit a post midway through the first period. Nikos Nioplias's side, now off the foot of the group at the expense of Slovenia, waited patiently for counterattacks and made life difficult for their opponents with some disciplined defending.
After Stocker and Seferovic wasted further openings, Switzerland bolstered their attack with a quarter of an hour remaining by introducing Eren Derdiyok, who squandered a glorious chance from close range in the final minute.