Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said the national team had failed the country by not qualifying for the World Cup following their 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in the play-off.

Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after they were held to a goalless home draw by Sweden in the second leg of their playoff.

"We need to be as clear headed as possible to go to the World Cup", said captain Buffon, who conceded a goal by Swedish substitute Jakob Johansson that was deflected by Daniele de Rossi. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something.

But former Italy global Andrea Pirlo believes it is risky for the four-time World Cup winners to rely too heavily on the atmosphere generated by 65,000 frenetic fans in the San Siro.

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Honduras and Australia will play off in Sydney on Wednesday after a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their tie, while two-legged clashes between Ireland and Denmark and Peru and New Zealand lie identically poised after their respective first legs.

"I leave a squad of talent that will have their say, including Gigio Donnarumma and Mattia Perin".

After the match, their veteran 39-year-old goalkeeper Buffon confirmed his worldwide retirement and also apologised for his team's failure. Italy are meanwhile superstars having won the competition four times - 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 - and lost two finals in 1970 and 1994. "He's got as much blame as all of us have".

"We knew it was going to be a tough game and in the end, it was decided on an incident".

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