Sweden qualify as Italy miss out on FIFA World Cup

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

It promises to be a superb match and there will be plenty of neutrals supporting a star-filled Italy squad, hoping they don't fail to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

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.

Sweden survived wave after wave of Italian attacks at the San Siro.

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

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura blamed bad luck and the referee for Friday's defeat in Stockholm.

While Pirlo acknowledges that the team "seemed frustrated", he insists that he is quietly confident of them getting through, saying: "I like this Italy".

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Italy is a team that can not afford to miss out on the next World Cup while Sweden is trying to prosper after Zlatan Ibrahimovic's retirement from the national team.

And elimination would nearly certainly mean goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon playing his final competitive worldwide.

"It is an important game for the history of our national team".

Alessandro Florenzi tried an audacious volley that went a foot wide of Olsen's post, while Immobile came close at the near post but, ultimately, the Azzurri found no solutions to get back into the tie, and will miss out on the world finals for the first time in 60 years.

He added: "We want to send Italians a message not with words, but with action on the pitch".

"We know we've lost, but we have another 90 minutes to overcome this complicated situation".

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