Sweden 1-0 Italy: Azzurri on verge of missing World Cup after first-leg defeat

Italy is on the verge of missing out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. On Friday in its two-leg playoff against Sweden, with a spot in the cup on the line, Italy lost 1-0 and now must overcome the deficit in Monday's second leg.

The four-time World Cup winners conceded in the 61st minute via a deflected shot from Jakob Johansson, which snuck by Gianluigi Buffon. It was an uninspired performance from Italy, who despite having 64 percent of the possession, only record one shot on goal and saw Marco Verratti receive a yellow card, leaving him suspended for the return leg. 

The second leg will be on Tuesday at the San Siro.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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