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Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

14 November, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Joan Malone
  • The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

"[Manager Gian Piero] Ventura is not the only one to blame".

Also, this will be Sweden's 12th appearance at the World Cup since making their debut at the second edition held in 1934 in Italy.

Sweden had fallen at the same stage four years ago, beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo and...

And now we have the catalogue of penalty appeals during this Italy-Sweden clash, all of which were overruled by Lahoz.

Those fears proved well-founded in the first leg in Stockholm, where Italy went down to a 61st-minute deflected strike from Jakob Johansson.

The result will nearly certainly see the end of manager Gianpiero Ventura, while the loss marks the end of superstar goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's time in the national team. They pressed, they pushed, but they could not prevail, and as a result will miss out on next year's tournament in Russian Federation, their first such failure in six decades.

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Italy, who are now ranked 15th in the world, had an ordinary qualification campaign, finishing second in their group.

But Giampiero Ventura's players couldn't breach a resolute Sweden defence, indeed they struggled to create any meaningful chances as they were bounced out of the World Cup finals. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something.

But the Azzurri struggled to carve out clear chances against a solid Sweden side, and really tested goalkeeper Robin Olsen only once. "There's regret at finishing like that, not because time passes", Buffon said after the result. The game means a lot for all of us, not only for me. 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.

What TV channel is Italy vs Sweden on?

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said the national team had failed the country by not qualifying for the World Cup following their 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in the play-off.

The final play-off game will see Republic of Ireland host Denmark on Tuesday.



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