Sweden Knock Italy Out Of World Cup Qualifying

14 November, 2017, 00:58 | Author: Edward Fernandez
  • Roy Hodgson is planning a swoop for Sweden's match-winner Jakob Johannson

The result will nearly certainly see the end of manager Gianpiero Ventura, while the loss marks the end of superstar goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's time in the national team. They won the 2006 event in Germany, losing just once during qualification before going 5-0-2 during the World Cup itself.

Sweden held off Italy to advance to the 2018 World Cup, while the Italians failed to qualify for the first time since 1958. The Manchester United forward, due to return within the next six weeks following a cruciate ligament injury, retired from worldwide football after Euro 2016, but the prospect of a World Cup swansong may now prove irresistible. The closest the hosts came to scoring was a Ciro Immobile effort which was partially stopped by keeper Robin Olsen and cleared away by Victor Lindelof as it was about to trickle over the line.

Mikael Lustig nearly scored an own goal when his deflection hit the bar.

Despite the embarrassment of a botched campaign, Buffon refused to lay the blame on Ventura. Napoli's in-form winger Lorenzo Insigne however was once again left on the bench.

Italy had a penalty appeal of its own waved off by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz when Marco Parolo was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson.

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Sweden's Lustig was back from suspension, with Johansson starting in place of the injured Albin Ekdal.

"The first-leg performance shows that we are perfectly capable of overturning the 1-0 result". Immbobile beat Olsen with another but Andreas Granqvist got back for a decisive goal-line clearance.

Bonucci took off his protective mask on the hour mark, with Ventura bringing on Stephan El Shaarawy and Torino striker Belotti.

As the clock ticked the crowd at the San Siro began to sing the national anthem.

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.

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