Four-time world champions Italy will not be seen in the Qatar World Cup this Year. The European champions lost against northern Macedonia by 1-0 on Thursday night in the World Cup qualifiers. If they had won this match, they would have faced Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal. Even then, Italy had to pass a difficult test. But who would have thought the smaller team Northern Macedonia would have beaten the four-time world champions. Macedonia made history in the World Cup qualifiers by beating Italy with a great goal in the last minute of the match.
Robert Mancini's team didn't qualify for the World Cup last season. This loss is reminiscent of the match against Sweden before the 2018 World Cup. The Italians couldn't score a goal despite attacking one after the other. That's why they were excluded from the World Cup. Yesterday, the same thing happened again. One attack after another from the beginning of the match, but miss one after another at the same time.
Italy pressed hard Northern Macedonia from the beginning of yesterday's home match. But the Jorginho-Immobile's team failed to score after repeated defeats to the Macedonian defense. that's why they had to say goodbye before reaching the World Cup by digesting the opposite goal at the last moment of the match.
Italy could have gone ahead in the 32nd minute of the match. The Macedonian goalkeeper blocked Lorenzo Insigne's quick shot. In the 37th minute, Immobile's shot was blocked by the opponent's defender. Despite a few more attacks in the first half, the European champions didn't score a goal. Italy took a total of 32 shots with the ball & they had 66% ball possession. In There, 15 shots were in the first half.
After the break, Italy continued to dominate as before. But the team couldn't see the goal. In the whole time, many opportunities come and go, but they didn't see success. Macedonia wins five minutes of extra time. Aleksandar Trajkovski pulled the ball from midfield and found the net in a horizontal shot from outside the D-box. This goal ended the hopes of Manchini's disciples for the World Cup.
At one time the main style of play of Italy was defensive. But under Roberto Mancini, the team changed its traditional style of play and continued to play offensive football. On the other hand, Macedonia is playing with the old style of Italy. And that is the success of the team. As a result, four-time champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo's team Portugal started the game by showing dominance from the very beginning. Ronaldo got a chance to score in the 2nd minute of the match, but couldn't score. Liverpool forward Diego Jota missed an easy chance in the 11th minute. But Portugal didn't have to be in despair for long. Portugal took the lead in the 15th minute through a goal by young forward Otávio Edmilson da Silva Monteiro. Diego Juta scored in the 42nd minute of the match before the break. As a result, Portugal went ahead in the match. After the break, Burak Yilmaz of Turkey scored a goal in the 65th minute. As a result, Turkey hinted at returning to the match but couldn't do so in the end. On the contrary, they digested another goal in extra time & Won by a 3-1 goal difference.
With the departure of Italy, the road to Portugal's World Cup is much clearer now. Hopefully, they will easily qualify for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. But in football, there is nothing 100% sure. I wouldn't be surprised if Macedonia also qualifies for the World Cup!