Italy will miss the World Cup finals for the second consecutive tournament after stunning the injury-time winner of North Macedonia in Thursday’s semi-final in Palermo.
With Italy thwarting 90 minutes with a heroic defensive performance North Macedonia, Alexander TrajkovskyThe former Palermo player scored the only goal of the match in the second minute of extra time, causing Italy’s first defeat in 60 World Cup qualifying matches.
The win means that North Macedonia, ranked 60th after Italy in the FIFA rankings, will face Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo In the final on Tuesday with a place in Qatar at stake.
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“It’s a huge disappointment,” Jorginho told Rai Sport. “This is very painful.
“We always created matches and controlled them but couldn’t finish teams. Nobody in particular can be blamed but that is the reality.
“I don’t know why we couldn’t do this, I’m also involved in this, and it hurts to think about it.”
Italy had an astonishing 32 shots in goal, compared to North Macedonia’s four, but they were unable to break through and were again left to ponder what could have been. The missed opportunities in the end were a story AzureHis career, with Roberto Mancini’s team only in the qualifiers after that Jorginho They missed a penalty against Switzerland last year that would have given them the win to automatically qualify.
After 30 minutes of dominance without a serious threat to the North Macedonia goal, Italy were given a fantastic opportunity to take the lead. but then Dmitrievsky stoleoutside his own net, wiped the ball directly to him on the edge of the penalty area, Domenico Berardi He could only have a simple shot that allowed the North Macedonia goalkeeper to recover and block.
The opportunity sparked a wave of Italian pressure but missing the striker Andrea Belotti And the Gianluca ScamacaThey lacked the clinical touch in front of goal. And inspired some of North Macedonia’s defenses thwarted the landowners with a series of blocks and licenses.
The same pattern continued into the second half. Berardi curled another wide and then fired it from six yards away but there is a growing air of desperation for the Italians’ offensive raids.
The best chance in the first half was for one of Italy’s substitutes, Lorenzo PellegriniHowever, the Roma midfielder did not find the target or his teammate with his stray cross shot.
The competition seemed ready for extra time and potential penalties, until Trajkovski, who had played at the same stadium for four years, dramatically broke the hearts of the European champions and the fans who once cheered him on in Palermo.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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