While Australia are battling through their own qualification journey to Russia in 2018, a far more prestigious nation’s struggles are flying under the radar.
Italy haven’t failed to qualify for a World Cup since 1958, but the four time champions now face a make-or-break home tie against Sweden to qualify; and they’re 1-0 down on aggregate.
FULL-TIME: Sweden 1-0 Italy— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 10, 2017
The Italians are in danger of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1958. pic.twitter.com/5KYNuaa008
Swedish substitute Jakob Johansson scored a wickedly deflected volley to gift Sweden the win this morning on home turf, leaving Italy – and the fate of their coach Gian Piero Ventura - teetering on the brink.
The reaction from Italian fans was predictable.
Even if Italy get to the World Cup, Ventura must be sacked. This is the worst Italy I 've ever seen in my life and I've watched every game since 1989— Carlo Garganese (@carlogarganese) November 10, 2017
Italy under ventura pic.twitter.com/AdOMB4EOhH— Lago (@inter_sf) November 10, 2017