European Champions Italy have gone from cloud nine to World Cup misery once again, in a matter of months. The Azzurri failed to score in a must win game against up and coming side North Macedonia who defended like their lives on the line.
The Macedonians will now be hoping for another surprise win, this time against a Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal who beat Turkey 3-1. If they manage to beat Portugal, they will go to their first ever World Cup.
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The game was dominated by the Italians with them having around 32 shots compared to North Macedonia’s 4 and also winning the battle in possession, gaining 66% of the ball. Unfortunately for Azzurri fans the attack massively let them down with attackers such as Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile failing to challenge the goalkeeper and Domenico Berrardi missing numerous chances that could have easily given Italy the lead.
The first goal of the game finally came in the 92nd minute when Macedonian winger Aleksandar Trajkovski stunned the entire football world and managed to find the back of the net. The ball was calmly placed in the bottom left corner, with Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma not being able to prevent it.
This loss will certainly be felt not only by Italians, but millions of Azzurri fans worldwide. This will mean that Italy’s next potential World Cup match will be in the year 2026, 12 years after their last World Cup match against Uruguay in the 2014 Brazil World Cup.