Italy Fail To Qualify For World Cup 2018
Italy failed to qualify the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after being held to a 0-0 home draw against Sweden.
The defiant Sweden booked their place in next year’s finals in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win over Italy.
Sweden survived waves of attacks as the Italians had 75 percent of possession, squandered numerous opportunities and had penalty appeals turned down in their increasingly desperate search for an equaliser.
Italy’s best chance saw goalkeeper Robin Olsen palm away substitute Stephan El Shaarawy‘s thumping late volley.
Striker Ciro Immobile missed a number of chances and his low effort in the first half was cleared off the line by centre-back Andreas Granqvist.
The defeat brought the curtain down on the remarkable international career of 39-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 175th appearance for his country.
This will be the second time in Italy’s history to be absent at the World Cup having declined to play at the inaugural tournament in 1930.
The result sees Sweden reach the World Cup for the first time since 2006.