2018 World Cup qualifier match report Sweden v Italy 10 November 2017
Posted: 10 November 2017 Time: 20:46
Sweden are one step closer to reaching the World Cup after sinking Italy 1-0 in a play-off first leg match on Friday night.
Jan Andersson's charges started firing on all cylinders in the opening 10 minutes as they pressurised the Azzurri.
However, Daniele De Rossi had the first big chance of the match after going through in the 21st minute but his strike from the edge of the box sailed over the crossbar.
There was a lot of intensity after half-an-hour but both sides were guilty of wasting chances in the final third.
The Blue and Yellows were raiding the Azzurri on the wings but lacked the killer instinct to get on the score-sheet after 40 minutes.
The last five minutes of action saw Andersson's troops still probing but the visitors kept it tight and the first stanza ended goalless.
Jakob Johansson broke the deadlock for the hosts on the hour following a throw in into the box. The midfielder had space to angle a shot that took a massive deflection and wrong footed goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and into the back of the net, 1-0.
Matteo Darmian hit the post in the 70th minute but Gian Ventura's charges could not match the tenacity of the home side.
With 10 minutes to go the visitors were pushing for the equaliser but opened themselves to counter-attacks at the back.
The visitors carved out a chance for Ciro Immobile in the 90th minute but the striker was flagged offside while he looked in a good position to score.
In the end the Swedes kept their discipline in defence and take their 1-0 win to Milan next week for the second leg of the tie.