Italy 1-1 Switzerland: Jorginho penalty miss ensures Group C race goes to last game

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Italy remains top of Group C in goal difference, despite being held at Rome

Jorginho's penalty missed last minute ensured that the race for the 2022 World Cup qualifier Group C was decided by the wire. Top two Switzerland and Italy played out a thrilling draw.

After VAR was used, the Chelsea player took control and pushed Domenico Berardi.

Giovanni Di Lorenzo was Italy's top scorer after Silvan Widmer’s brilliant opener.

With a goal difference of two goals better than the Swiss, the Azzurri have the advantage going into the final round.

It will be a straight shootout between the two for the top spot on Monday with Italy at Northern Ireland, and Switzerland at home against Bulgaria.

It will be a bittersweet prospect for Italy as they are likely to lose a spot in the play-offs. In 2018, Italy was beaten by Sweden over two legs.

Four years ago, Switzerland was also in the play-offs. However, it beat Northern Ireland to reach the finals in Russia.

Roman night of entertainment: High drama and high excitement

It was a rollercoaster ride both ways.

In the span of just a few minutes, Switzerland went from being disappointed by the draw in Rome to feeling elated at their place in the race for automatic qualification to the finals in Qatar.

It will be a different Italy, from one that is happy to have the chance to hold the group in its hands to another that is disappointed at the prospect of a difficult trip to Northern Ireland.

This was in fact a microcosm of a fantastic see-saw game. The Swiss jumped out of the blocks to take a lead, before Italy rallied to claim their point.

Widmer's opening was a great one, hitting the net from close range after Noah Okafor had run away on the break, before setting him up calmly. It was in the middle of a 20 minute period during which the visitors caused panic in an Italian defense that is usually unflappable.

Roberto Mancini's team is nothing but resilient, as shown by their recently ended 37-game unbeaten world record. They dug deep to stabilize the ship and then wrestled back control.

Di Lorenzo's header in the sea of bodies after a well-taken kick restored parity. The second half was less hectic but still had chances for the home side. Yann Sommer saved a Lorenzo Insigne shot that was snuffed out with his legs.

Jorginho had the best chance of winning, but to the annoyance of all Italians in the StadioOlimpico, his technique and composure let them down at the crucial moment.