Italy fail to reach World Cup for first time in 60 years as Sweden qualify

Four-time world champions, Italy have failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after falling 1-0 on aggregate to Sweden in the European playoffs.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg in Sweden, Italy needed at least a 2-0 victory at San Siro on Monday night to make it to Russia next summer, but were held goalless.

Sweden sat back on their advantage and, despite the hosts enjoying 75% possession with 20 shots at goal, they failed to find the breakthrough.

Read also: Switzerland​, Croatia​ qualify for 2018 World Cup ​after playoffs

The result 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.

Sweden are reaching the World Cup for the first time since 2006 when they were in the same group with Nigeria.

As it stands, a total of 29 teams around the world have guaranteed their participation at next year’s World Cup, as 3 teams are left to complete the lineup before the end of the week.


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