Italy fails to qualify for World Cup for first time since 1958

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 06:28:49 AM. Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades, while Sweden advanced for the first time since 2006.
Players from both teams slumped to the ground. The Swedes in exhausted ecstasy, the Italians in losers' agony. On a starry night in Milan, four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades. Sweden advanced for the first time since 2006. Despite three quarters of possession, Italy was stymied by a goalless draw in the second leg of their playoff on Monday and Sweden prevailed 1-0 on aggregate. "It's a black moment for our game," Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. "Unfortunately there will be a lot of time to analyze it. The only thing I can say is that we showed few ideas and not much in the way of tactics." The Sweden players ran over to celebrate with the traveling fans, a sea of joyful yellow at San Siro. The Italians looked on in shock and disbelief or put their head in their hands as though it were too painful to watch. Many of them were in tears, especially captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who played his last international after 20 years between the posts for the Azzurri. "We all need to look within and find a way to bounce back," defender Giorgio Chiellini said. "We need to get back to the level we deserve to be at." This will be only the second World Cup missed by Italy. The first was in 1958. The last major competitions Italy failed to qualify for were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships. It could have been worse for Italy, as Sweden was denied what looked like two clear-cut penalties for handballs, first...Read more
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