Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Italy Misses World Cup as Sweden Wins Playoff

Italy Misses World Cup as Sweden Wins Playoff

Italy host Sweden in the second leg on Monday at San Siro, looking to overturn the narrow defeat in Solna in attempt to reach a 15th consecutive finals.

Sweden had two strong shouts for handball rejected in the first half in the San Siro, but television replays suggested that both should have been given.

Italy will not be at the World Cup in Russian Federation next summer.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Germany's friendly with France on Tuesday, Low said: "It would be a disaster for Italy not to progress, but Sweden would deserve it too".

But the Azzurri struggled to carve out clear chances against a solid Sweden side, and really tested goalkeeper Robin Olsen only once. But even in its most basic form, it would surely be better than the status quo, which sees officials castigated for honest mistakes and teams denied a place at the World Cup as a effect. The first was in 1958.

Watch the reaction of Italy's players after the four-time world champions missed qualifying for a 15th-straight World Cup.

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

The rot started long before Ventura took charge. It's the first time the Swedes have made the World Cup since 2006, leaving just three spots to still be decided.

The Croatian football federation seems to have approached Ancelotti for the same reasons as Italy, as the team face equal hard times.

The 39-year-old Buffon - bidding to reach a record sixth World Cup Finals in Russian Federation - is one of the last survivors of Italy's golden generation of 2006 World Cup winners.

Jorginho's through ball found Immobile to pull back from the byline for Candreva to blast over, but Leonardo Bonucci, wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose on Friday, got a knock to the knee and was limping badly.

Meanwhile, the highly rated Lorenzo Insigne surprisingly played only 15 minutes of the playoff - and out of position.

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