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Italy fails to qualify for 2018 World Cup

14 November 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.

Italy failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in Russian Federation as they were held to a goalless draw by Sweden at the San Siro on Monday night and crashed to a 1-0 aggregate loss in their playoff.

But Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist believes they can cause a big upset in front of over 65,000 Italians.

"They developed well and have good individual players".

Who's already qualified for the 2018 World Cup? "We have nothing to lose and we will go onto the pitch to give a great performance".

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

Despite the embarrassment of a botched campaign, Buffon refused to lay the blame on Ventura.

"We analyzed the things that went well and others that did not go so well".

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

Neither team was particularly impressive in the first leg of this matchup but Italy had a very disappointing display.

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

For the first time since 1958, the FIFA World Cup will not feature Italy.

Italy, a four-time World Cup champion, had a penalty appeal of its own waved off by the referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, when Marco Parolo was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson.

"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.

However, the latest reports suggest that he is now being courted by two national teams who would largely benefit from his arrival.

Italy fails to qualify for 2018 World Cup