BERLIN: Germany's chief coach Joachim Loew heaped praise on Sweden and said they deserve to be congratulated for defending well and giving their 100 per cent against Italy in the 2018 football World Cup qualifying playoff.
Sweden defeated Italy on a 1-0 aggregate in the qualifiers to book a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Monday.
"We can't influence the draw," the German coach was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
"Everything can happen. In Italy's case, I congratulate the Swedes. I saw the game, they defended well and gave everything," Loew added.
The 57-year-old also said that it is sad that Italy and Chile could not qualify for the upcoming football World Cup.
"But I think it's sad for Italy, because for such a big tournament (it's a pity). If Germany or France or even Brazil or Argentina (miss out), for me there is something missing without the Italian team," Loew said.
"It's also sad that Chile isn't qualified, they didn't manage it. For Italy though, it is kind of a chance for a new beginning. Some of their players are ending their careers.
"I have the biggest respect for those players, that played not only for Juventus, but also those that played in the national team. Gianluigi Buffon -- biggest respect. (Leonardo) Bonucci or also De Rossi or the others. That's pure class," Loew added.