Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after a play-off defeat to Sweden.

The four-time winners had qualified for the last 13 World Cups but will not appear at Russia 2018 after suffering defeat in a play-off tie with Sweden on Monday (13 November).

The tight two-legged qualification match ended 1-0 to Sweden after Jakob Johansson's deflected first-leg goal at the Friends Arena, in Stockholm, on Friday night.

The Azzurri failed to score at the San Siro in Milan on Monday meaning they will not be present at a World Cup for only the second time ever.

Italy join other surprise omissions like Holland, USA, Chile and Ghana who will not be part of the 32 nations at the tournament.

On a tense night Giampiero Ventura's side enjoyed almost 75 per cent possession and had 17 shots with Lazio striker Ciro Immobile missing a number of chances including one that was cleared off the line by centre-back Andreas Granqvist.

Italy's forward Ciro Immobile react at the end of the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Italy and Sweden, on November 13, 2017 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

Sweden had two penalty claims turned down after both Matteo Darmian and Andrea Barzagli seemingly handballed.

And in the first half Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz waved off a penalty claim by the Italians when Marco Parolo was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson.

Gianluigi Buffon of Italy cries after losing at the end of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg between Italy and Sweden at San Siro Stadium on November 13, 2017 in Milan, Sweden. Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

When the match concluded many of the Italians fell to the ground with captain Gianluigi Buffon in tears as he left the field.

It appears the 39-year-old may have played his last match for his country, after announcing his retirement earlier this year, earning 175 caps.

Before the game Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport ran with the headline "All or nothing... Ventura's mission to avoid the Apocalypse'' and the same newspaper ran an article also referring to the loss as the "Apocalypse" after the final whistle.

Another huge footballing nation, Holland, finished beneath Sweden in the group stages so failed to qualify whilst USA miss out for the first time since 1986 and South American champions Chile also failed to make the cut.

ita vs swe
Sweden's players celebrate at the end of the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg between Italy and Sweden at San Siro Stadium on November 13, 2017 in Milan, Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

At last year's European Championships Antonio Conte's Italy beat Sweden in the group stages before losing on penalties to world champions Germany in the last eight.

Before that in Brazil for the 204 World cup Italy went out at the group stages after beating England but losing to Costa Rica and Uruguay.

The Azzurri had missed the 1984 and 1992 European Championships and the latest failure will rank alongside the nations most embarrassing international moments alongside their 1-0 loss to North Korea at World Cup 1966 and their 1-1 draw with New Zealand in 2010.