Switzerland sends Italy into playoff

Switzerland sends Italy into playoff

European champions, Italy will be playing amongst the teams that will contest for a place in the 2022 World Cup playoff.

This is following their barren draw against impressive Northern Ireland in the final game of group C.

Switzerland, therefore, secured the automatic ticket after thrashing Bulgaria 4-0.

Northern Ireland won the third spot in the group as they continued their impressive performance. They held the European champions in what has been adjudged their best performance of the qualifying campaign.

Conor Washington would have scored and shattered the Azurri in the last minute but his effort was cleared off the line.

The Swiss that were second in the group before kickoff needed to beat their visitors to at least have a chance of qualification for the global showpiece and they got the job done in style but Italy could not get past Northern Ireland in front of their raucous fans at the noisy Winsdor Park.

The host had efforts from George Saville and Stuart Dallas. Both went close with good opportunities: Washington raced onto a long ball in the 90th minute and beat the outrushing Donnarumma to the ball. After getting through on goal, the Charlton Athletic striker couldn’t put the finals touch required and it allowed Italy captain Leonardo Bonucci to get back and clear off his line.

Italy missed the last world cup after falling to Sweden in the playoff.

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