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Four-time champions Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after a play-off defeat against Sweden.
It means the Azzurri will not be present in the competition for only the second time in their history having declined to play at the inaugural tournament in 1930.
While Italy dominated the second leg and had 20 shots at goal, their exertions radiated a growing sense of desperation.
Gian Piero Ventura's side were unable to carve open a resolute Swedish defence which sat deep and often had a line of six defenders camped in their box, heading away each cross and set-piece into the box.
In all, the Swedes made a total of 56 clearances between them, plus 19 interceptions.
originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus
I'm in over my head now!
Let me guess...
For me that passed when the US lost to Trinidad & Tobago. I didn't even bother watching (I forgot). The next day, saw the news. Italy was going to be the next "real contender" I was going to root for. Now...
Let's go Iceland! (I don't even know if they have qualified...)