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2018 World Cup play-off goalless run extended to 6 matches

  • Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup following goalless draw with Sweden
  • Second-leg 0-0 result extended barren play-off run to six games without goal 
  • It has been 569 minutes (9.5 hours) since supporters last saw a play-off strike 
  • Ironically that came in the first leg of the match between Italy and Sweden

The goalless second-leg draw between Italy and Sweden on Monday night extended the barren World Cup play-off run to almost 10 hours without a goal.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, the first time since 1958 that they won’t be playing in football’s summer party, with a 1-0 aggregate loss to the Swedes.

And while the Italians will be heartbroken with the result, supporters were also left short changed after watching yet another goalless World Cup play-off match. 

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia following their goalless draw against Sweden

Sweden celebrate after booking place at football's showpiece event with 1-0 aggregate win

Sweden celebrate after booking place at football’s showpiece event with 1-0 aggregate win

LAST SIX WORLD CUP PLAY-OFF GAMES

Honduras 0-0 Australia 

New Zealand 0-0 Peru 

Denmark 0-0 Ireland 

Switzerland 0-0 N Ireland 

Greece 0-0 Croatia 

Italy 0-0 Sweden 

The last six play-off matches have failed to bring a goal, a stretch which no doubts suggests teams aren’t willing to take risks in a bid to qualify for the showpiece event.

It has been 569 minutes (9.5 hours) since fans last saw a play-off goal, and ironically that came in the first leg of the match between Italy and Sweden.

Jakob Johansson’s 61st-minute strike, via a Daniele De Rossi deflection, came on November 10 — and six games have followed with a single goal.

Before Monday night’s return leg, Honduras vs Australia, New Zealand vs Peru, Denmark vs Ireland, Switzerland vs N Ireland and Greece vs Croatia all failed to produce a goal.

Northern Ireland are another team who failed to qualify following a goalless second-leg draw

Northern Ireland are another team who failed to qualify following a goalless second-leg draw

The last World Cup play-off goal came in the first leg of match between Italy and Sweden

The last World Cup play-off goal came in the first leg of match between Italy and Sweden

Italy had the chance to put an end to that, and boost their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup, but couldn’t get past a stubborn Sweden defence. 

Attention now turns to the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, who go head-to-head in Dublin on Tuesday night in the second leg of their play-off. 

Following their goalless first-leg draw, the stakes are certainly high for the players and fans — and those neutrals will be hoping for something to celebrate too. 

Attention now turns to the Republic of Ireland, who can end the barren 10-hour goalless run

Attention now turns to the Republic of Ireland, who can end the barren 10-hour goalless run

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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