Monday, November 29, 2021

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World Cup: Italy denied qualification after draw in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland produced their best performance of the qualifying campaign to earn a 0-0 with Italy that denies their guests automatic World Cup qualification.

Substitute Conor Washington almost won it for the hosts in the last minute but his effort was cleared off the line by Azzurri captain Leonardo Bonucci.

Elsewhere in the group, Switzerland smashed Bulgaria 4-0 to top Group C, sending the European champions into the play-off for a place in Qatar.

Roberto Mancini’s Italians, who came into the match ahead of the Swiss on goal difference, must now prepare for a play-off in March, albeit with a sense of déjà vu having missed out on the last World Cup by losing a play-off to Sweden.

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