Match Result Sweden vs Italy: Score 1-0

Sweden. © AFP
The 2018 World Cup playoff game brings Sweden against Italy. The match was held at Friends Arena on Saturday (11/11).

Despite playing relatively dominant, Italy must accept the fact of losing this match. Johansson's single goal gave Sweden victory in this first leg match.

Italy played pretty dominantly from the start of the game. Sweden is more waiting despite playing in front of their own supporters. But the dominance of Italy can not be channeled into a goal opportunity.

Italian games are too easy to read in this game. Every time you get the ball, Italy directly drains the ball to their winger. Giampiro Ventura seems intentionally instructing his team to play on the wings.

But this strategy proved ineffective because Sweden did not provide space for Italian winger to take advantage of their speed. As a result, the Italian attackers did not get a ball supply at all from the middle. They only have a chance to get the ball from cross-feeds or corner kick.

This Swedish defensive strategy successfully withstand the harmless strikes of Italy until the first half ended. Hardly any chances created by both teams during this first half.

Entering the second half, the game strategy of both teams is still unchanged. Sweden are still waiting to be attacked and Italy is frustrated by their own monotonic strategy that can only drain the ball to the wings.

But the deadlock finally broke out in the 61st minute. Jakob Johansson kick from outside the penalty box turned direction after hitting the Italian defender so Buffon dead step and could not stop the ball rate.

Italy almost equalized a few minutes later through a powerful Darmian matteo shot from outside the penalty box. but Darmian's shot struck only Olson's goalkeeper.

Until the game ended, the score 1-0 remained. Italy's chance to qualify for the World Cup is still not closed, but they should be able to reverse the position in the second leg on Tuesday early morning.

The composition of Swedish players: Olson; Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Augustinsson; Claesson, S. Larsson, Ekdal, Forsberg; Toivonen, Berg.

The composition of the Italian players: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Parolo, De Rossi, Verratti, Darmian; Belotti, Immobile.
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