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

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.