Italy Secure Play-Off Spot
2018 World Cup Qualifier Report: Albania v Italy 09 October 2017
2018 World Cup Qualifier
Result: Albania 0-1 Italy
Date: 09 October 2017
Venue: Stadiumi Loro Boriçi
A second-half goal from Antonio Candreva secured a 1-0 win for Italy over Albania on Monday night.
Italy finished second in their group and will go into the play-off match to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup.
Christian Panucci's men started impressively, putting the Azzurri under pressure in the opening ten minutes.
After half-an-hour, the match was still goalless with Giampiero Ventura's struggling to create clear-cut chances.
The visitors were playing on the counter-attack and striker Ciro Immobile had a penalty shout in the 40th minute, but his appeal was turned down by the referee.
The Azzurri were disjointed going forward and Ventura had a lot of work to in the dressing room at halftime, as they went into the break scoreless.
On the hour mark, Immobile latched on to a knockdown in the box and fired at goal from a tight angle but his effort sailed over the bar.
Antonio Candreva finally broke the deadlock for the Azzurri in the 73rd minute with a close finish inside the box following a mistake by the hosts, 0-1.
Ventura's troops gained momentum and came alive going into the final 10 minutes of the half.
However, the Italians managed to see out the closing stages to secure a win and their spot in the play-offs.