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FIFA World Cup – Italy eliminated by North Macedonia | Playon99 News

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Breathe a sigh of relief for Cristiano Ronaldo: Italy lost to North Macedonia and is out of the competition for a place in the FIFA World Cup. The Cinderella of the European play-offs eliminated the reigning European champions and will have to face Portugal in the final.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Italy was left out of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Again, just like in Russia 2018, but now as the reigning European Cup champions and at home.

North Macedonia gave the upset and won it in injury time with a cross-shot by Aleksandar Trajkovski and the impact is worldwide: Gigi Donnarumma, Marco Verratti, Ciro Immobile, Jorginho, Nicoló Barella, Lorenzo Insigne, Giorgio Chiellini, all top players who are left without FIFA World Cup.

What a paradox: the father of catenaccio, eliminated by a national team that preaches catenaccio like no other. Macedonia closed in at the back, held on and made the most of the stones.

Looking back on the match, it is incredible that Italy did not win it. They dominated the game from end to end and had not one, not two, not three, but at least eight or nine situations to transfer the soccer superiority to the result.

Goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski excelled in some of them, but in most of them it was the Italians who failed. To put it in context: Italy had 32 shots, but only 5 were on target.

Even with an empty net they missed: Berardi had a chance when – after receiving a gift from Dimitrievski – he shot so weakly that he gave the Macedonian goalkeeper a chance to recover.

The scoring chances were not only at the feet of the Sassuolo attacker, Immobile and Insigne also had theirs, but neither managed to score and there was the difference: according to the statistics, Macedonia barely hit the target twice and one of them ended up inside.

Macedonia’s effectiveness killed Italy’s tiki-tiki. The game with which Roberto Mancini’s team won the European Championship was of no use against a team that closed back and planted all the outfield players almost on the line of their own area.

Italy went from celebrating the European Championship title, with a long unbeaten run, to this new and huge disappointment that leaves them out of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for the second time in a row.

When everyone was expecting a duel between Italy and Portugal, it will be Macedonia, who will face Cristiano Ronaldo’s team in an all-or-nothing match for a ticket to the FIFA World Cup, in the early hours of March 30.

There will be five days ahead in which we will wonder if Macedonia’s rough, closed and almost non-existent game will be able to face a power -Portugal- that finds it hard to be protagonists with the ball.

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