Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

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. The 2006 World Champions will miss out on their first World Cup in 60 years, while Sweden will march on to Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Italy coach Ventura refused to speak to Rai reporters at the final whistle.

Sweden recorded a memorable victory over Italy on Friday with a one-goal advantage into the second leg at the San Siro!

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

While Ventura's predecessor Antonio Conte guided Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 - beating Belgium and Spain along the way before going out on penalties to Germany - many felt that the team had overachieved and that the task facing Ventura would be a challenge.

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

Gianluigi Buffon suggests that he has retired from global football following Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 Russia World Cup. 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.

The makeup of next year's World Cup finals may have looked a lot different had Federation Internationale de Football Association been bold enough to implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system for the qualifiers for Russia 2018. They made the Round of 16 in both 2006 and 2002, but since it's been a barren run for the Scandinavian nation who were unable to qualify for 2010 in South Africa or 2014 in Brazil.

This is the first time since 1958 that Italy has failed to qualify. There's regret at finishing like that, not because time passes.

"We are not stressed, personally I am focused on the game and I hope fans will support us". We know how to get back up again as we've always done. The game means a lot for all of us, not only for me.

The 0-0 draw saw the continuation of an unusual quirk in World Cup qualifying.

Sweden was leading 1-0 from the first leg and held on strong to deny Italy any chance of scoring.

What TV channel is Italy vs Sweden on?

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