Sweden Knock Italy Out Of World Cup Qualifying

Tuesday, 14 Nov, 2017

Sweden did not shine at all in the first leg but did manage to get the favorable 1-0 win with a goal by Jakob Johansson off the bench.

Gianluigi Buffon appears to have confirmed that his Italy career is over following the nation's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. The Swedish defence held firm, the game ending goalless.

They could have had something to shout about shortly before the 10 minute mark as Marco Parolo went down in the penalty area, claiming a foul from Ludwig Augustinsson. The ball struck Matteo Darmian's hand inside the box, but the Spanish referee ignored Sweden's protests.

While Pirlo acknowledges that the team "seemed frustrated", he insists that he is quietly confident of them getting through, saying: "I like this Italy". He was replaced by the Seattle Sounders' Gustav Svensson. Olsen then made the biggest save of the half when he came off his line to make a crucial intervention from a close-range Immobile shot.

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

Soon after, Florenzi's cross into the box fell to the head of Lustig, who deflected the ball onto the crossbar but safely out for a corner.

Just 16 months ago, the Azzurri were only knocked out of Euro 2016 via a quarter-final penalty shootout defeat to Germany, but the upward trajectory started by Antonio Conte has not continued under Ventura, whose position appears untenable.

The crowd at the San Siro of over 70,000 created an intense atmosphere which resulted in a frenetic and tense 90 minutes.

But the goal didn't come, and the inquest will begin after one of the biggest shocks for the Italian team in almost 60 years.

Reigning champions Germany are in no such position having already confirmed their spot in Russian Federation and, while Low believes Sweden have shown plenty to suggest they deserve to qualify, he also feels Italy failing to qualify would be a blow to the tournament.