Swe­den keeps Italy out of World Cup

The Prince George Citizen - - SPORTS -

MILAN (AP) — 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 cham­pion 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 was stymied by a goal­less draw in the sec­ond leg of their play­off on Mon­day and Swe­den pre­vailed 1-0 on ag­gre­gate.

“It’s a black mo­ment for our game,” Italy mid­fielder Daniele De Rossi said. “Un­for­tu­nately there will be a lot of time to an­a­lyze it. The only thing I can say is that we showed few ideas and not much in the way of tac­tics.”

The Swe­den play­ers ran over to cel­e­brate with the trav­el­ling fans, a sea of joy­ful yel­low at San Siro. The Ital­ians looked on in shock and dis­be­lief or put their head in their hands as though it were too pain­ful to watch.

Many of them were in tears, es­pe­cially cap­tain and goal­keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon, who played what he said was his last international af­ter 20 years be­tween the posts for the Az­zurri.

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

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