MILAN (Reuters) - Italy were ensured a place in the European playoff round of the World Cup qualifiers thanks to Bosnia’s 4-3 home defeat against Belgium on Saturday.
The best eight runners-up in the nine European groups go into the playoff round and Italy, already certain of finishing second in Group G, are now guaranteed to be one of them.
Italy have 14 points, not including the six they won against bottom team Liechtenstein which are discarded when calculating the best runners-up.
Bosnia’s defeat to Belgium means that whoever finishes second in Group H will not have more than 13 once their points from matches against bottom team Gibraltar have been subtracted.
The nine group winners qualify directly for Russia.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Ian Chadband