Sweden beat Italy to seize early initiative in World Cup play-off


Italy manager Giampiero Ventura says his side need a great performance in the second leg of their play-off with Sweden if they are to avoid missing out on a first World Cup since 1958.

The Swedes won the first leg 1-0 at the Friends Arena, the only goal coming when Jakob Johansson drilled home from 20 yards, through a Daniele de Rossi deflection.

They were the better team in the first half while the Azzurri slightly improved after the break, they were still disappointing.

Italy who will be without the suspended Marco Verratti will need to win Monday’s second leg at the San Siro to reach the World Cup in Russia.


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