Italy out of FIFA World Cup for first time in 60 years

Daily Messenger - - Sportlight -

RUS­SIA: Italy failed to qual­ify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years af­ter be­ing held to a 0-0 draw at home to Swe­den, who booked a place at next year´s tour­na­ment in Rus­sia with a 1-0 ag­gre­gate win.

The Swedes sur­vived wave af­ter wave of Ital­ian at­tacks in the se­cond leg of their Euro­pean play­off tie on a night of un­remit­ting ten­sion and drama at a dis- be­liev­ing San Siro.

Four-times cham­pi­ons Italy, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 fi­nals in Swe­den, penned the visitors into their own half for most of the game and cre­ated a hat­ful of chances but could not find a way past Robin Olsen in the Swe­den goal.

The hosts, who en­joyed 75 per­cent of pos­ses­sion, had shots cleared off the line, oth­ers stopped by Olsen and penalty ap­peals turned down as they pressed des­per­ately for a goal.

"We had no weapons left.

We just had to sit there and hope that we could hang on," said Swe­den coach Jan An­der­s­son."

"We couldn´t do it in any other way, they are so skil­ful.

"The clos­est Italy came to scor­ing was a Ciro Im­mo­bile ef­fort which was par­tially stopped by Olsen and cleared away by Vic­tor Lin­de­lof as it was about to trickle over the line.

Italy ´ s play­ers col­lapsed onto the pitch in de­spair as the fi­nal whis­tle went and even vet­er­ans such as Gior­gio Chiellini were in­con­solable.

The crowd´s sup­port dur­ing the game quickly turned to hos­til­ity as boos rang around the sta­dium.

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