Premier League

Italy 0 North Macedonia 1

Italy 0 North Macedonia 1: The Azzurri are eliminated from the World Cup for the second game in a row after being stunned by an injury-time screamer from the European champions.

After being shocked by tiny North Macedonia, European champions Italy will miss their second World Cup in a succession.

Alexsandar Trajkovski beat Gianluigi Donnarumma with a spectacular long-range winner in injury time, ending the four-time world champions’ season.

It also means Cristiano Ronaldo is one step closer to reaching the finals, as his Portugal team awaits the winners of the battle for a spot in Qatar.

The world's 65th-ranked team North Macedonia show what the huge upset means

Despite having THIRTY TWO efforts on goal in Palermo, Italy manager Roberto Mancini was left disappointed on the touchline as the Azzurri failed to score.

Macedonia demonstrated they had the balls to stand up to the Italians when Visar Musliu used his private parts to block Domenico Berardi’s volley off the line.

With their backs to the wall, the visitors displayed the same tenacity that saw them qualify for the Euros last summer by defending for 90 minutes.

Lorenzo Pellegrini fizzed another shot across goal, while Berardi fired over the bar.

The Italians were frightened, so they played their national hymn in the middle of the game to motivate the fans and the players.

Alessandro Bastoni and Co can't believe it as North Macedonia reach the World Cup finals

Before extra time, Mancini even chose to put in Giorgio Chiellini to shore up the defense.

But the veteran was powerless to stop Trajkovski from shocking Italy.

The forward, who plays for Al-Fayha in Saudi Arabia, picked up a loose ball after Chelsea midfielder Jorginho’s header was missed and drove into Italy’s half before blasting into the bottom corner.

It left Italy with the same sense of humiliation as when they lost a play-off to Sweden in 2017 and failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup championships in Russia.

“It’s impossible to express,” Chiellini, who described himself as “distraught,” told RAI Sport.

“I believe we played well and just didn’t score the winning goal.

“I don’t think anyone can accuse us of being arrogant.

Attacker Alexsandar Trajkovski, who plays for Saudi club Al-Fayha, thumps the most important goal of his career to KO Italy

“From September to today, we made mistakes and paid the price.

“I’m proud of my teammates and this squad; we’re clearly in disarray, and we need to get back on track. We now have a vast vacuum within us.”

Macedonia, which was only created in 1991, is already dreaming of its first World Cup.

Italy's Marco Verratti shows the pain as North Macedonia celebrate a famous win

The minnows, on the other hand, will have to do it the hard way, as their play-off final is on Tuesday in Portugal.

In the other semi-final, Cristiano Ronaldo’s team narrowly defeated Turkey.

The star-studded Portugal team prevailed 3-1, although the game was far closer than the result suggests.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button