Misfiring Italy fail to reach World Cup as Sweden go through

Posted November 14, 2017

The first one is Italy, whose recent struggles to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which culminated in Friday night's 1-0 defeat to Sweden, may lead to an imminent sacking of current manager Giampiero Ventura.

Italy trailed Sweden 1-0 on aggregate ahead of their second-leg match at the San Siro and over 90 nerve-racking minutes again failed to score against their opponents.

"I'm sorry that my final game coincided with us not qualifying for the World Cup". It was the third-longest active streak behind Brazil (20) and Germany (16).

For the first time since 1958, Italy will not be going to the FIFA World Cup™.

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"We must be confident in the return leg, otherwise we have already lost". I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something.

In the first leg played on Saturday, Ireland forced Denmark to a 0-0 draw.

However, the Italians were unable to get on the scoresheet at the San Siro as the Swede's held on to a goalless draw.

"I leave a squad of talent that will have their say, including Gigio Donnarumma and Mattia Perin".

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The defeat brought the curtain down on the remarkable global career of 39-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 175th appearance for his country. Emil Forsberg proved to be the Nordic team's best player throughout the first round of the qualifiers and was the clear standout in the first leg.

"It is an important game for the history of our national team".

He added: "We want to send Italians a message not with words, but with action on the pitch".

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