Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Italy fails to qualify for World Cup after draw with Sweden

Roy Hodgson is planning a swoop for Sweden's match-winner Jakob Johannson Roy Hodgson is planning a swoop for Sweden's match-winner Jakob Johannson
Hilda Schwartz | 14 November, 2017, 00:55

The first is that the four-time world champions fail to qualify for Russian Federation 2018 and a curtain falls on the global careers of half the team, including Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and the icon that is Gianluigi Buffon.

Sweden survived wave after wave of Italian attacks in the second leg of their European playoff on a night of unremitting tension and drama at a disbelieving San Siro.

But Giampiero Ventura's players couldn't breach a resolute Sweden defence, indeed they struggled to create any meaningful chances as they were bounced out of the World Cup finals.

Ibrahimovic is yet to return from the knee injury he suffered for United last April. Olsen then made the biggest save of the half when he came off his line to make a crucial intervention from a close-range Immobile shot.

Mikael Lustig nearly scored an own goal when his deflection hit the bar.

Not since the 1958 tournament, coincidentally held in Sweden, have the Azzurri not been at football's showpiece event, but defeat in Solna in the first leg proved their undoing and surely signals the end of Gian Piero Ventura's disappointing reign as manager. Napoli's in-form winger Lorenzo Insigne however was once again left on the bench.

Butch Jones Out at Tennessee
Dooley, Johnny Majors, Doug Dickey and Bowden Wyatt are the only Tennessee coaches to endure one-win conference campaigns. Jones had three years remaining on his contract, which owed him $4.1 million annually through the 2020 season.

The hosts had penalty appeals in the opening few minutes as Marco Parolo appeared to be tripped from behind by Ludwig Augustinsson, but the referee waved play on and booked Giorgio Chiellini for dissent.

"We know we've lost, but we have another 90 minutes to overcome this complicated situation".

Federico Bernardeschi was the final Italy substitution and Olsen turned away a Parolo header.

The Juventus 'keeper confirmed his retirement from worldwide football following the Azzurri's failure at the San Siro.

Mario Balotelli was the star of Euro 2012 but fell out of favor after Italy's woeful showing at the last World Cup, and hasn't been called up by Ventura, while Conte selected him in only one squad.

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