Italy fails to reach World Cup after draw with Sweden

Sweden holds firm to qualify for 2018 World Cup in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win in a hard-fought play-off.

    Four-time world champions Italy have failed to qualify for the football World Cup for the first time in 60 years after drawing 0-0 against Sweden in Milan.

    A solid Sweden side held firm at the San Siro stadium on Monday night to qualify for next summer's tournament in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win in a hard-fought play-off.

    Italy, a football-crazy country, has taken part in every World Cup since failing to qualify for the sport's most prestigious event in 1958.

    The last major competitions it missed were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships. 

    Having successfully defended Jakob Johansson's winner from the home leg in Stockholm, Sweden are now set to take part in their 12th World Cup.

    Sweden’s players celebrate after qualifying for the 2018 World Cup [Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters]

    Unsuprisingly, Monday night's match became the top trending topic on Twitter in Italy, with thousands of fans expressing their shock and sadness at the Azzurri's failure.

    Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon shortly after the end of the match at San Siro [Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters]

    With tears in his eyes, Italian goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from international football after the match.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Is an empowered Palestinian girl not worthy of Western feminist admiration?

    Blood-rusted Sword: Elite force of Saudi crown prince

    Blood-rusted Sword: Elite force of Saudi crown prince

    Al-Ajrab Sword Brigade, formed in 2015, comprises elite forces from across Saudi military ranks.

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.