Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Sweden shatter Italy's World Cup dream

Sweden shatter Italy's World Cup dream

The Azzurri suffered a 1-0 first-leg defeat and are under pressure to turn around the tie, in what could be Gianluigi Buffon's final competitive fixture for the national team.

With Italy searching for a vital goal, television cameras captured a member of Ventura's backroom staff telling De Rossi to warm up.

In a video of the incident, the Roma captain screams, "Why the f*** should I go on? We don't need to draw, we need to win!" Buffon was also an unused substitute at a sixth World Cup in 1998.

Ventura was widely criticised for his reluctance to use Insigne during his time in charge of the Azzurri, with the Napoli forward emerging as one of Serie A's best attacking talents in recent years.

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De Rossi later explained his actions on the bench: "We have this tendency to warm up three at a time, then after five minutes we change and another three go", he said in the post-match press conference. "We just had to sit there and hope that we could hang on", said Sweden coach Jan Andersson. I pointed to Insigne too.

Aside from the U.S., Italy and the Netherlands, Chile, Ireland, Ghana and Wales are some of the high-profile teams set to miss out on the 2018 World Cup, with the U.S. and Italy having seen lengthy World Cup streaks snapped in dramatic fashion.

Four-times champions Italy, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 finals in Sweden, penned the visitors into their own half for most of the game and created a hatful of chances but could not find a way past Robin Olsen in the Sweden goal.

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