Italy Misses World Cup for First Time Since 1958

Diego Flores, Sports Writer

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Milan, Italy- Italy failed to qualify to the Russia 2018 World Cup after drawing 0-0 against Sweden in their play-off match. After failing to qualify directly through the group stage, they were forced to go to play-offs against Sweden to gain their ticket to the World Cup. In the first leg of the play-offs, Sweden managed to beat Italy in a 1-0 match that could’ve gone either way. With their mission clear for the second leg, Italy was determined to win.

They battled hard throughout the 90 minutes, and despite dominating over the Swedish national team, with an overwhelming 76% possession compared to a 24% from Sweden and 27 shots compared to a measly 4 shots from Sweden. They could not break the deadlock and were consequently knocked out of the World Cup.

After the devastating scoreline, Italian national team captain, Gianluigi Buffon was interviewed and shared a couple of quotes.

“In football you win as a group, you lose as a group. You divide the credit and the blame,” he said after the loss, seeming to begin to lose his bearings.

Later on he said,” It’s just a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup,” amid rivers of tears that were flowing freely down his face.

It was clear to everyone that despite the failure being a national disaster, the person it affected the most was the Italian veteran, who was denied the entrance to his last international tournament.

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