Italy miss out on World Cup as Sweden qualify

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

"We couldn´t do it in any other way, they are so skilful".

"We just had to sit there and hope that we could hang on", said Sweden coach Jan Andersson".

Not since the 1958 tournament, coincidentally held in Sweden, have the Azzurri not been at football's showpiece event, but defeat in Solna in the first leg proved their undoing and surely signals the end of Gian Piero Ventura's disappointing reign as manager.

"We must be confident in the return leg, otherwise we have already lost".

After the match, their veteran 39-year-old goalkeeper Buffon confirmed his global retirement and also apologised for his team's failure.

However, Antonio Conte's Italy side overachieved in France a year ago, when it surprisingly beat Spain in the round of 16 before losing on penalties to world champion Germany.

Mario Balotelli was the star of Euro 2012 but fell out of favor after Italy's woeful showing at the last World Cup, and hasn't been called up by Ventura, while Conte selected him in only one squad.

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Marco Verratti is suspended for Monday's game with Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in a bruising first leg against Sweden in Stockholm.

Three quick thoughts from Italy's 0-0 draw with Sweden in the second leg of their World Cup qualifying playoff that sees the Swedes qualify for next summer's World Cup in Russian Federation.

The home team had chances to win the game, however, and overcome the Swedes, but they failed to produce the quality required to put the ball into the net.

It will played at the San Siro. "The only thing that I would have would be a personal satisfaction, but in the wider scheme of things, I am irrelevant".

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

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.

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