Italy to miss World Cup after 0-0 draw with Sweden

Beth Cruz
November 14, 2017

The second leg was not without controversy, as each side had legitimate claims to penalty kicks throughout the match, but credit is also due to Sweden's defense, which held Italy to just one shot on goal in the first leg, as well as goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who made five saves today.

"It is really important that we do not end up in a defensive position where we have to defend our goal for 90 minutes, because they are so skilled that they will hurt as sooner or later".

"We just had to sit there and hope that we could hang on", said Sweden coach Jan Andersson".

"We must be confident in the return leg, otherwise we have already lost".

"We analyzed the things that went well and others that did not go so well".

Giampiero Ventura's Azzurri boasted over 75% possession and took no fewer than 26 shots on goal but ultimately failed to book their place at the 2018 Russian World Cup.

With seconds left, Italy forced a corner, but when the final whistle blew there was nothing but a chorus of boos from the Italian supporters as their team's World Cup dreams were ended.

The result is also likely to end the worldwide career of legendary Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who had been on the Italy squad for every World Cup since 1998.

However, the latest reports suggest that he is now being courted by two national teams who would largely benefit from his arrival.

"I expect a full San Siro to carry this team through. The only thing that I would have would be a personal satisfaction, but in the wider scheme of things, I am irrelevant".

Watch the reaction of Italy's players after the four-time world champions missed qualifying for a 15th-straight World Cup.

Jorginho's through ball found Immobile to pull back from the byline for Candreva to blast over, but Leonardo Bonucci, wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose on Friday, got a knock to the knee and was limping badly.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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