In the first leg played on Saturday, Ireland forced Denmark to a 0-0 draw.
"I expect a full San Siro to carry this team through". Ludwig Augustinsson's challenge on Parolo may have been a 50-50 call, but Darmian was clearly foulded by Mikael Lustig.
As we saw during the Confederations Cup earlier this year, VAR is not flawless and there are still kinks to be ironed out. "It would be a great satisfaction to qualify for the World Cup".
This will be only the second World Cup missed by Italy.
But the series of playoff games for Russian Federation 2018 have seen fear of failure drown out ambition, leading to some desperately tiresome encounters and precious few goals.
Trailing 1-0 on aggregate to a Jakob Johansson goal scored in Friday's first leg in Stockholm, Giampiero Ventura's Azzurri were cheered on by nearly 72,000 Italian fans in Milan. The closest Italy came to an actual goal was when Florenzi crossed and Lustig's header looped on to his own bar.
If the playoffs are being dulled by the determination to shut out the opposition, perhaps it is time for Federation Internationale de Football Association to update the format.