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Sports

Record-breakers Italy held by Swiss in World Cup qualifier

  • Roberto Mancini's European champions had drawn level with Spain and Brazil's mark of 35 in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Bulgaria
Published September 6, 2021
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BASEL: Italy extended their unbeaten run to a record 36 matches in Sunday's goalless World Cup qualifier in Switzerland which kept them atop Group C on the road to the 2022 finals in Qatar.

Roberto Mancini's European champions had drawn level with Spain and Brazil's mark of 35 in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Bulgaria.

Italy, whose remarkable run began with a 1-0 defeat of Portugal in September 2018, retain control of Group C on 11 points from five matches.

Switzerland are four points behind, but with two games in hand.

Another share of the points looked an unlikely outcome early in the second half when Chelsea's Jorginho stepped up to take a penalty.

Unable to find a way past the solid home defence, Italy thought their moment had come when VAR confirmed the on-pitch decision to award a spot-kick after a foul by Ricardo Rodriguez on Domenico Berardi.

But Yann Sommer had other ideas, diving late to his left to keep the game all square.

Time was ticking away if Mancini's men were to extend their record of scoring in each of their past 17 matches.

Sommer certainly played a major role in seeing that sequence ended, the Bundesliga player pulling off a number of big saves in the first hour.

Italy face Lithuania on Wednesday with Switzerland in Northern Ireland.

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