Italy 0-0 (Agg: 0-1) Sweden: Azzurri Miss Out On World Cup
Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after a goalless second-leg draw against Sweden on Monday led to a 1-0 aggregate defeat.
It means the Azzurri will not be present in the competition for only the second time in their history having declined to play at the inaugural tournament in 1930.
Gian Piero Ventura’s side dominated possession at the San Siro but could not find a way past Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who saved from Ciro Immobile and Alessandro Florenzi at the end of the first half and then denied Stephan El Shaarawy late in the game.
The result sees Jan Andersson’s Sweden side reach the World Cup for the first time since 2006.
There were tears among the Italian players at the final whistle as defeat looks set to mark a changing of the guard, with several experienced players now unlikely to play at another World Cup.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon – after winning his 175th cap – is set to retire at the end of the season while Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli will all be in their late 30s in 2022.