Deportes

Jakob Johansson strike gives Sweden first-leg advantage over Italy — Result

Jakob Johansson strike gives Sweden first-leg advantage over Italy — Result

The hosts took the lead in the 61st minute through Johansson, who smashed a half-volley beyond Buffon with the aid of a wicked deflection just minutes after coming on as a substitute.

"Ibra is someone who plays only for himself and makes sure the rest of the team does too".

"A draw was the minimum we could've expected considering the two performances".

Jorginho could help to unlock a Swedish side that will surely look to come to San Siro and batten down the hatches.

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

"I honestly don't understand: people are surprised we're here playing this play-off but that was the scenario from the beginning".

Ventura insisted he was calm and he appeared relaxed at the pre-match press conference, laughing and joking with Italy captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

At the end of the match, the "Squadra Azzurra" lost on the high passes where protection masters have been ready.

Sweden put on a solid defensive display and Italy never looked like scoring in the closing stages, failing to register a shot on target after Darmian rattled the upright.

"It's happened so many times in my career that I've been in front of important crossroads", Buffon said.

Buffon is one of three 2006 World Cup-winning veterans - the others are De Rossi, 34, and 36-year-old defender Andrea Barzagli - still in the team.

The second play-off match between Italy and Sweden will take place on 13 November in Milan at "San Siro". "It doesn't change anything concerning my future, what would change is that a win, more than meaning I would continue in the national shirt, would mean so much for all of us and for the footballing movement". They did a lot of play-acting, but the fact is, they're not very good actors. Us players are experiencing this calmly, but each of us is experiencing it in their own personal way.