Italy broke the record for the longest unbeaten international streak after a 0-0 draw with Switzerland in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday, after Jorginho missed a penalty again.
Italy did not lose in 36 consecutive matches, breaking the record of 35 unbeaten matches previously shared by Spain and Brazil. Brazil achieved the record unbeaten in 35 matches between 1993 and 1996, while Spain equaled this number in 2009.
Italy could have come out with a more positive result had Jorginho scored a penalty kick in the 52nd minute for a foul on Domenico Berardi, but Switzerland goalkeeper Jan Sommer saved the Chelsea midfielder’s attempt.
Italy had more chances to snatch the win, but it was contented with a draw in the end, to remain at the top of Group C with 11 points from five matches, four points ahead of second-placed Switzerland, who played three matches.
“Today we played a great match, better than our 3-0 victory over Switzerland in June (in the group stage of Euro 2020), but we just didn’t manage to score,” defender Giorgio Chiellini told Ray Sport.
“I liked the performance today. There were many positives,” he added.
Roberto Mancini’s team entered the match after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Bulgaria on Thursday, in their first match since winning the European Championship two months ago.
But the visiting team was the better party in the first half in Basel and Domenico Berardi and Lorenzo Insigne missed many chances.
The most dangerous opportunity in the match came in the seventh minute of the second half, after Ricardo Rodriguez fouled Berardi, and the referee awarded a penalty kick.
But Jorginho, who missed a penalty kick to beat England in the European Championship final, missed the opportunity again.
“We had a lot of chances and we should have won,” Mancini said. “A match like this should end with a 3-0 win. For sure there will be some changes in the next match.”
There was some confusion over whether Italy equaled or broke the unbeaten record on Sunday as Brazil claimed their run spanned 36 games, including their 2-2 draw with Romania’s second-team team in September 1995.
Because this match was not recognized by the International Federation (FIFA) because it was against a reserve team, it was not counted in Brazil’s career.
Italy meets Lithuania on Wednesday, while Switzerland hosts Northern Ireland.
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