Football: Jorginho misses penalty as Italy equal unbeaten world record with Swiss draw

Italy's Jorginho shows his dejection at the end of the match on Sept 5, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BASEL (REUTERS) - Jorginho missed a penalty as Italy were held to a 0-0 draw by Switzerland in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday (Sept 5), a result that meant Roberto Mancini's side equalled the world record for international matches unbeaten in a row.

Italy have now not lost for 36 consecutive matches, matching Brazil's record set between 1993 and 1996.

The result could have been more positive had Jorginho converted from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute after Domenico Berardi had been fouled, but the Chelsea midfielder was thwarted by home goalkeeper Yann Sommer.

Italy had further chances to snatch victory but had to settle for a draw, meaning they remain top of qualification Group C on 11 points from five games, four ahead of the second-placed Swiss, who have two matches in hand on the Azzurri.

Mancini's side came into the match having disappointingly drawn 1-1 with Bulgaria on Wednesday in their first match since becoming European champions two months ago.

But the visitors were much the better side in the first half in Basel and should have taken the lead through good chances for Berardi and Lorenzo Insigne, both of whom were denied by Sommer.

The best chance of the night came seven minutes into the second half after Ricardo Rodriguez, trying to atone for being caught in possession, lunged in on Berardi to concede a penalty.

Jorginho, who missed his spot kick in Italy's penalty shootout victory over England in the Euro 2020 final, stepped up but placed his effort far too close to Sommer, who made an easy save.

Sommer proved impossible to breach as he denied Insigne again to leave Italy heading home having been frustrated for the second successive qualifier.

The Azzurri face Lithuania on Wednesday, while Switzerland travel to Northern Ireland.

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