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    Italy fails to qualify for 2018 World Cup

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by DANIEL DAL ZENNARO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9221382bp) Italy's defender Leonardo Bonucci and teammate forward Ciro Immobile show their dejection at the end of the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification playoff second leg soccer match between Italy and Sweden at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 13 November 2017. Sweden won 1-0 on aggregate. Italy vs Sweden, Milan - 13 Nov 2017
    Italian players are crestfallen after a scoreless draw Mondaykept them out of the 2018 World Cup.

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    Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades after losing its playoff to Sweden, 1-0 on aggregate, on Monday when the teams played to a goalless draw in the second leg in Milan. The 2018 event will be only the second World Cup missed by Italy. The first was in 1958. The last major competitions Italy failed to qualify for were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships. ‘‘It’s a black moment for our game,’’ Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. Added coach Gian Piero Ventura, who is expected to be fired: “I feel I have to apologize to Italians for the result.’’ Sweden advanced to its first World Cup since 2006.

    The retooling US men’s soccer team will open its 2018 schedule with an exhibition against Bosnia-Herzegovina on Jan. 28 at Carson, Calif. The roster figures to be drawn mostly from players in Major League Soccer.


    BU buried by Albany in the second half

    A poor second half sent the Boston University men’s team to an 88-74 loss to Albany at Case Gym. The Terriers (0-2) led, 40-38, at the break but shot just 37.1 percent from the field the rest of the way while the Great Danes (2-0) connected at 61.5 percent. Nick Havener lead BU with 19 points . . . Jordan Murphy had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and 15th-ranked Minnesota outlasted host Providence, 86-74 . . . A 2-0 start kept Duke atop the Associated Press men’s poll after the first week of the regular season. Duke received 34 of 65 first-place votes, while No. 2 Michigan State got 13 first-place votes. Arizona, Kansas, and Villanova rounded out the top five . . . UConn remained the unanimous No. 1 team in the AP women’s poll.


    Harvard slips to 13th in men’s poll

    Harvard fell from fifth to 13th in the latest men’s hockey poll after two weekend losses. Also slipping were Providence (eighth to 10th), New Hampshire (ninth to 11th), and BU (15th to 18th). Northeastern moved up from 13th to 12th . . . Boston College held at No. 2 in the women’s hockey poll . . . Hockey East suspended UMass Lowell junior forward Nick Master for one game stemming from an incident in Saturday’s win over Northeastern


    Nadal withdraws from the ATP Finals

    World No. 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew from the season-ending ATP Finals in London after losing his opening match to David Goffin, 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-4. Nadal pulled out of the Paris Masters 10 days ago with knee issues. Nadal will be replaced by Pablo Carreno Busta. Making his debut at the ATP Finals, Grigor Dimitrov held off Dominic Thiem for a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory . . . The WNBA’s new Las Vegas franchise, formerly the San Antonio Stars, won the draft lottery and will pick first next spring . . . French downhill skier David Poisson, a former medalist at the world championships, died following a training crash in Canada. He was 35.