Four-time champions Italy to miss world cup

Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifiers - Sweden v Italy - Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden - November 10, 2017. Sweden's Jakob Johansson scores for 1-0. TT News Agency/Anders Wiklund via REUTERS

Sweden players jumped at joy while the four-time champion Italy fled to the ground for failing to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

The Azzurri will not be present in the competition for only the second time in their history having declined to play at the inaugural tournament in 1930.

Milan’s San Siro stadium ended goalless as Jakob Johansson, midfielder deflected the strike in the first leg was the difference as the second leg.

The Italians, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 finals in Sweden, had 75% of possession, squandered numerous opportunities and had penalty appeals turned down in their increasingly desperate search for an squalider.

“We had no weapons left. We just had to sit there and hope that we could hang on, we couldn’t do it in any other way, they are so skillful,” said Sweden coach Jan Anderson.