MILAN (Reuters) - Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sweden who booked a place in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win on Monday.
Sweden survived wave after wave of Italian attacks in the second leg of their European playoff on a night of unremitting tension and drama at a disbelieving San Siro.
Italy, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 tournament 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. The closest the hosts came to scoring was a Ciro Immobile effort which was partially stopped by Olsen and cleared away by Victor Lindelof as it was about to trickle over the line.
Russia World Cup
Russia World Cup
FIFA's 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia, and the emblem for the games was unveiled in space. Ko Im (@konakafe) has the story.
SOCHI, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 21: FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke (L) and Russia's sport minister Vitaly Mutko (R) at a meeting of FIFA officials with representatives of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Organising Committee, in Sochi, Russia, on November 21, 2014. (Photo by Artur Lebedev/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 28: Moscow's Mayor Sergei Sobyanin (3d L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), FIFA President Josef S. Blatter (R) observe a reconstruction site of the Luzhniki stadium on October 28, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. The Luzhniki stadium will be one of the venues of the 2018 The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. (Photo by Dmitry Azarov/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 28: Russian President Vladimir Putin observes a reconstruction site of the Luzhniki stadium on October 28, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. The Luzhniki stadium is to become one of the venues of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 11: A general view of the Russia 2018 World Cup Rio Reception Evening at the Copacabana Palace Hotel on July 11, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
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(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)