The battle for a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will go down to the final round of Group C after Italy and Switzerland played out a 1-1 draw at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Friday evening, leaving them locked on 15 points each at the top of the group.
Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri had to come from behind to level in the first half, and missed a glorious chance to take three huge points when Jorginho blazed a late penalty over the crossbar.
Silvan Widmer put the Swiss ahead in the 11th minute as Italy started the game shakily, but Giovanni Di Lorenzo put his poor start to the night behind him to bravely head home an equaliser shortly after the half-hour mark.
Italy’s northern neighbours were more than a good match for Mancini’s side from there on but presented their hosts with a chance to win the game from 12 yards as the 90th minute approached.
Jorginho stepped up having had his previous penalty against Yann Sommer saved by the Swiss goalkeeper and looked to have that in his head as he sent his spot kick flying over the crossbar.
Both sides are now on 15 points ahead of the last round of fixtures, with Italy boasting a better goal difference as they’ve scored 13 goals to Switzerland’s 11. Italy now have to beat Northern Ireland away on Monday and hope that Switzerland can’t beat Bulgaria at home by enough goals to overturn their deficit in order to qualify for the World Cup.