Italy to miss World Cup after 0-0 draw with Sweden

Italy to miss World Cup after 0-0 draw with Sweden

The next chance Italy will have to qualify for a World Cup comes in 2022 when the event takes place in Qatar.

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. However, despite dominating possession and having the best of the chances, it was not to be.

On the other hand, Sweden appeared hard done by when Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz declined to award a penalty after a shot by Sweden's Emil Forsberg hit the arm of Italian defender Andrea Barzagli inside the area.

Italy last won the World Cup in 2006.

The last time Italy failed to qualify in 1958, the event was held in Sweden.

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However, the latest reports suggest that he is now being courted by two national teams who would largely benefit from his arrival. Italy now join fellow big guns such as Chile and the Netherlands in missing out on Russian Federation 2018.

Meanwhile, Sweden is absolutely cheering.

The 0-0 draw saw the continuation of an unusual quirk in World Cup qualifying. The first rule is not to cry over it.

What has gone wrong for Italy as they gear up for do-or-die clash with Sweden?

"It is certainly a moment of high tension, considering what is at stake and the sense of responsibility each of us must bear", said Buffon, who will earn his 175th cap in the San Siro. 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.

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It's make or break for the Azzurri tonight as they go into the pivotal qualifier 1-0 down against the Swedes.

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.

If the playoffs are being dulled by the determination to shut out the opposition, perhaps it is time for Federation Internationale de Football Association to update the format. Federation Internationale de Football Association could stage the playoffs in one country over a long weekend, with all ties settled on the day.

Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC.

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