Italy defeated Albania away from home in their final UEFA World Cup qualifying Group G match by one goal to nil. Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini started for an Azzurri side, who had already confirmed their play-off spot going into the match. The game’s only goal didn’t arrive until the 73rd minute, courtesy of a finish by ex-Bianconero, Antonio Candreva.
Elsewhere, Mario Mandzukic’s Croatia confirmed their play-off berth after defeating Ukraine 2-0 in Kiev, thanks to a second-half brace from Andrej Kramaric, as they finished second in Group I.
Both sides will await the World Cup play-off draw on 17 October, to discover who they will be competing against for a place in Russia next summer. Where they will hope to join Wojciech Szczesny's Poland, who sealed their qualification on Sunday.
Tonight, Blaise Matuidi’s France will be hoping to confirm their World Cup spot when they play Belarus at the Stade de France in Group A. In Group B, there is a mouth-watering tie in prospect as leaders Switzerland with Stephan Lichtsteiner travel to second place Portugal.
During the early hours of tomorrow morning there will be a lot at stake in CONMEBOL World Cup qualification, as Paulo Dybala and Argentina face Ecuador away from home. Juan Cuadrado’s Colombia go to Peru and Uruguay with Rodrigo Bentancur will take on Bolvia at home. Alex Sandro’s Brazil who have already qualified will host Chile in Sao Paulo.
Finally, Medhi Benatia will be involved in a friendly for Morocco who play South Korea this afternoon.