Italy stunned as Sweden beat Azzurri on aggregate to reach World Cup

Rosalie Stanley
November 14, 2017

For the first time since 1958, the World Cup will take place without Italy, which will be relegated to the sidelines when the soccer world convenes in Russian Federation next summer.

Despite creating the majority of the chances in the match and dominating in possession, Italy lacked the cutting edge they needed to find a goal, while Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen, captain Andreas Granqvist and Co did enough to help their nation over the line and into their first World Cup since Germany 2006. "Italy are a great nation that has nearly always played the World Cup".

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But why do we want Italy to qualify?

Playing in front of a vocal crowd at the San Siro in Milan, the Azzurri went into the game knowing they had to score at least once to stay alive, after a goal from Jacob Johansson gave Sweden a vital 1-0 win in the first leg in Stockholm.

But former Italy global Andrea Pirlo believes it is unsafe for the four-time World Cup winners to rely too heavily on the atmosphere generated by 65,000 frenetic fans in the San Siro.

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"It is an important game for the history of our national team". Italy now join fellow big guns such as Chile and the Netherlands in missing out on Russian Federation 2018. The first rule is not to cry over it.

But the series of playoff games for Russian Federation 2018 have seen fear of failure drown out ambition, leading to some desperately boring encounters and precious few goals.

"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.

Too many first legs have been spoiled by negativity, so why not get rid of them altogether and have each playoff resolved over 90 minutes?

A mini tournament to decide who qualifies for the real thing?

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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