Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Sweden goes to Russia, Italy stays home

Sweden goes to Russia, Italy stays home

Sweden's players jumped for joy at the final whistle in Milan after Jan Andersson's side hung on for a famous 0-0 draw against four-times champions Italy on Monday that secured a place at next year's World Cup finals in Russian Federation.

The Italians, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 finals in Sweden, had 75% of possession, squandered numerous opportunities and had penalty appeals turned down in its increasingly desperate search for an equaliser.

Sweden's top scorer should be available again for Man United in the new year and a return to his goalscoring form of last season could see Zlatan angling for a place at the World Cup. "For those of us that are older, this is probably the last chance to play at a World Cup, so to succeed in these circumstances is an unbelievable joy".

He said: 'There's an infinite number of things to evaluate, we'll speak with the Federation, we'll evaluate the situation'. After the match, he said: "I have not resigned because I haven't spoken to the president yet". I am a bit moved but obviously very happy with the result. "We couldn't do it in any other way, they are so skillful", Andersson said.

The 39-year-old goalkeeper also confirmed it was his last worldwide appearance.

Another Rome resident Enrico Doddi summed up the national disappointment, saying: "You can not have a good World Cup without Italy".

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

As the clock ticked down, De Rossi was asked by Ventura to warm up but he pointed at Insigne instead. "We don't need to draw, we need to win!" "I pointed to Insigne too".

"Let us support the young Italy that will come!"

"Italy, this is the apocalypse", ran a headline on the website of sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport.

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