World Cup qualifier match report Italy v Sweden 13 November 2017

Rachel Hardy
November 14, 2017

In the first leg played on Friday, a deflected Jakob Johansson strike was enough to earn Sweden a first-leg advantage which left Italy on the brink of missing out on a first World Cup since 1958.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sweden, who booked a place at next year´s tournament in Russian Federation with a 1-0 aggregate win on Monday.

The Juventus legend insisted he was not saddened by the end of his worldwide career, which peaked with the 2006 World Cup triumph, but rather the effect the result will have on Italian football.

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This will be only the second World Cup missed by Italy.

Despite the embarrassment of a botched campaign this cycle, Buffon refused to lay the blame on manager Gian Piero Ventura.

It was still goal-less at half-time, and the tension rose as time began to tick down in the second stanza, with Italy increasingly desperate to get the goal that would keep them in contention.

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Gianluigi Buffon fought back tears as he confirmed his retirement from worldwide football following Italy's shock failure to qualify for Russian Federation 2018. It fared somewhat better at the European Championship, reaching the final in 2012 and going out in the quarterfinals in 2008 and 2016.

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

Italy were lacking in imagination and flair and the failure to qualify for the first time since 1958 will nearly certainly see 69-year-old Ventura sacked by the Italian federation.

The lack of stars in the Italy team is reflected in the Italian league.

Ventura then made his final change.

"We know we've lost, but we have another 90 minutes to overcome this complicated situation".

Those three players are 26 or under and, along with forwards Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti, could form the spine of a rejuvenated Italy side for several years to come.

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