BASEL, Switzerland (AP) – Switzerland's young team is looking toward the 2014 World Cup when it completes European Championship qualifying on Tuesday against a Montenegro side which already advanced to the playoffs behind group winner England.
The Swiss hoped to set up a match for second place in Basel, but they lost 2-0 in Wales on Friday as Montenegro drew 2-2 with England.
Instead, Montenegro progressed and likely will rest seven players Tuesday to avoid collecting yellow cards that would trigger a ban for the playoffs next month. The draw is Thursday in Kiev.
''The bitterness is immense,'' Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said.
With England having completed its qualifying, Bulgaria hosts Wales on Tuesday to decide last place in the five-team group.
The Swiss campaign never fully recovered from losing 1-0 in Montenegro one year ago, though hope flickered last month when teenage forward Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat trick to help beat Bulgaria.
''Our team is young. It must learn from these failures,'' Hitzfeld said after the loss in Wales. ''But it must especially look forward - to the match on Tuesday against Montenegro and a great challenge next month in Rotterdam against the Netherlands.''
Hitzfeld used the Euro 2012 campaign to promote several players from Switzerland's successful Under-21 team, including the FC Basel attacking trio of Shaqiri, Fabian Frei and Granit Xhaka.
Hitzfeld, a two-time Champions League winner as coach, will plot the Swiss path to Brazil after getting a two-year contract extension that was unpopular with many fans and media.
Hitzfeld has called up 20-year-old FC Zurich defender Philippe Koch to help cover for the suspended Reto Ziegler and injured center back Philippe Senderos.
Johan Djourou returns from suspension to lead the defense in place of Senderos.
Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic has said he will not select players who are one yellow card away from suspension. They include Andrija Delibasic, the stoppage-time scorer against England, and Milorad Pekovic.
Mirko Vucinic will serve a one-match ban after getting a yellow card just before the final whistle against England. The Juventus forward will return for the playoffs.
Wales travels to Sofia with confidence after back-to-back home wins against Montenegro and Switzerland, fired up by young midfield stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
''These players have the potential to be something special. But there's a long road ahead and we need to keep working at it because we're not ready yet,'' Wales coach Gary Speed said.
Wales seems poised to rebound from a slump in the FIFA rankings that left it among the lowest seeds in the World Cup qualifying draw. It was rewarded with a group including top-seeded Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Scotland and Macedonia.
Bulgaria fired coach Lothar Matthaeus after losing in Switzerland last month, and Mihail Madanski began his interim spell in charge losing a friendly in Ukraine 3-0 last Friday.