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Sweden edge Italy in playoff first leg, Senegal book ticket to Russia

13 Noviembre 2017
Sweden edge Italy in playoff first leg, Senegal book ticket to Russia

"We need to be as clear-headed as possible to go to the World Cup", Buffon, 39, told TMW Radio.

"We must be confident on Monday, otherwise we have already lost". "After the first 90 minutes they are ahead, now I hope that San Siro will give us a hand".

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. With no other option than to get the job done, the tactician may need to finally listen to his plethora of critics and utilise one of the best midfielders on the peninsula - especially with Marco Verratti out suspended. "So as long as they continue to give me that enthusiasm and motivation to continue, I will do it", said the goalkeeper in his Press conference.

The coach's tactics are also under the spotlight along with Italy's failure to bring in sufficient new blood over the past decade.

Senegal became the third African nation to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup after beating South Africa 2-0 to clinch top spot in Group D. It will only be the second time the African nation have featured at the World Cup having been a part of the 2002 iteration in Japan and South Korea. The 25-year-old has captivated onlookers across Europe for his pristine passing accuracy, frequently completing more than 150 passes in a single game for his club side. It's not a great memory, even if we drew that day, as at the end we knew that there were limited chances of qualification.

But despite a run to the Euro 2012 final and Antonio Conte's men reaching the quarter-finals of last year's European Championship with credible wins over Spain and Belgium, they have failed to deliver consistently on the big stage.

"The Italians kept falling down for everything, trying to get me red-carded, and they kept talking at the referee. Sweden are a solid side and their behaviour will make little difference, it all depends on us". They did a lot of play-acting, but the fact is, they're not very good actors.