Because of a missed penalty shortly before the end of the game, European football champions Italy must continue to fear their participation in the 2022 World Cup.

The Azzurri only scored 1-1 (1: 1) in qualifying against Switzerland on Friday evening and on the last day of play they could still be ousted from the top spot in a long distance duel with the Swiss.

Only this secures the direct World Cup ticket for Qatar next year - as second in the group, the Italians would have to go to the dangerous playoffs.

The team of national coach Roberto Mancini fell behind in front of 49,714 spectators in the Olympic Stadium in Rome by Silvan Widmer from Mainz (11th minute), Giovanni di Lorenzo equalized (35th).

In the 90th minute, Jorginho shot a penalty over the crossbar.

Almost to the day exactly four years ago, the Italians missed the 2018 World Cup qualification in the playoffs against Sweden and plunged an entire country into a serious football crisis.

Now a similar tremor threatens: Italy and Switzerland go into the last qualifying round with 15 points each, Italy has two goals better goal difference.

A win on Monday in Northern Ireland could not be enough if the Swiss win against Bulgaria much more clearly.

The direct duel started badly for Italy when Widmer completed a counterattack with a shot in the corner. After Nicolò Barella failed from five meters to Yann Sommer (22nd), the Gladbach goalkeeper looked less good at 1-1: He missed a free-kick flank, di Lorenzo headed in. At the end of the day, Jorginho, Europe's “Footballer of the Year”, became a tragic figure. As in the first leg in Switzerland (0-0), he failed from the point.

On the penultimate match day, Scotland secured second place in the playoff in Group F behind the already well qualified Danes. In the 2-0 (1-0) win in Moldova, Nathan Patterson (38th) and Che Adams (65th) met for the guests, who were no longer displaced from second place by pursuers Israel (2-4 in Austria) can be. The Bundesliga professionals Louis Schaub (2) and Marcel Sabitzer (1) ensured after a 2-1 deficit with their goals for the home win of the Austrians with coach Franco Foda. Denmark leads after the 3-1 (1-0) against the Faroe Islands with the optimal yield of 27 points ahead of Scotland (20) as well as Israel and Austria (both 13).

After the 5-0 (5-0) win against outsiders Albania, England have the clearly better cards in the final long-distance duel with Poland next Monday (8.45 p.m.) - just one point would be the Three Lions in the last game of Group I in San Marino enough for the direct World Cup ticket to Qatar.

In the 4-1 (3-1) of the Poles in Andorra, Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored the opening goal and the goal for the final score.

Ex-world champions England (23 points) maintained their three-point lead over the Poles, who received Hungary on Monday.