Swe­den end Italy’s 60- year World Cup streak

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

PLAY­ERS from both teams slumped to the ground, the Swedes in ex­hausted ec­stasy, the Ital­ians in losers’ agony.

On a starry night in Mi­lan, four- time cham­pi­ons Italy failed to qual­ify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades.

Swe­den ad­vanced for the first time since 2006.

De­spite three quar­ters of pos­ses­sion, Italy were stymied by a goal­less draw in the se­cond leg of their play­off and Swe­den pre­vailed 1- 0 on aggregate.

“It’s a black mo­ment for our game,” Italy mid­fielder Daniele De Rossi said.

Italy had failed to qual­ify for the World Cup just once be­fore, reach­ing 14 straight since fall­ing short in 1958.

The last ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions Italy failed to qual­ify for were the 1984 and 1992 European Cham­pi­onships.

It could have been worse for Italy as Swe­den were de­nied what looked like two clear- cut penal­ties for hand­balls.

Italy's keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon.

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