Italy Miss First World Cup In 60 Years As Sweden Qualify

Doug Mendoza
November 14, 2017

Some are in tears.

They played to a goalless draw in the second leg at San Siro on Monday. Gianluigi Buffon applauded wildly, presumably in solo protest against his own supporters' bile.

There were loud boos on the whistle but it has quickly faded away into silence.

Those fears proved well-founded in the first leg in Stockholm, where Italy went down to a 61st-minute deflected strike from Jakob Johansson. But let's doff our caps to Sweden, it wasn't pretty, but they fought for everthing: Lustig, Granqvist, Lindelof, Claesson and Larsson in particular was magnificent. "We failed at something which also means something on a social level".

Despite going out in the quarter-finals, Conte was considered to have overachieved with that Italy side, who were short on talent in comparison to Azzurri teams of the past. I want to give a hug to Chiello, Barza, Leo and Lele, who I had nearly 10 years alongside.

"We are not stressed, personally I am focused on the game and I hope fans will support us. Win together, lose together".

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"The coach is part of this entire group".

Despite plenty of chances, Italy has been sent packing from the FIFA World Cup, unable to secure the goal they needed in the second leg of their play-off against Sweden. Sweden defended their narrow lead until the last, a feat that for all their pain Italians should surely appreciate. The game is set up to be a very, intense, hard-fought and entertaining encounter as both teams will be motivated to book their ticket to Russian Federation.

"The first-leg performance shows that we are perfectly capable of overturning the 1-0 result".

It was enough for Sweden, who will play at the finals for the first time since 2006 - the same year in which Italy were last crowned champions of the world.

Sweden had a goal that would have clinched qualification disallowed in the 84th minute due to an offside call against Marcus Berg. "There are another 90 minutes and we want to make the most of it".

Other reports by GizPress

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