Just when you thought football cannot surprise us anymore, Italy is out of the World Cup 2022. Mancini’s side looked very confident and one of the favorites for the 2022 world cup after winning the 2020 Euro Final where they beat England FC on penalties. Watch highlights.
This heroic performance made Roberto Mancini almost seem invincible until they came face to face with the reality of the football world. North Macedonia, which is ranked 60 places below in FIFA ranking, dismantled them and crushed their World Cup 2022 dreams.
Italy was drawn in the same path of play-offs where they might have met Portugal in the finals and it would have been a neck-a-neck competition considering Ronaldo and Co.’s unmatched talent. But after facing their very first match against North Macedonia, they have been outplayed and knocked out in yet another unexpected upset of the season.
The Azzurri were unbeaten for 37 matches since their last loss against Ronaldo’s Portugal in a 1-0 defeat on 10th September 2018. This streak was important because it revived fans’ hope for the world cup which was missed out in 2018 in Russia.
While having the likes of Donnarumma, Baston, Immobile, Berardi, Insigne, Emerson, Bastoni, Florenzi, Jorginho, and Verratti, it is a shock how Aleksandar Trajkovski’s only goal scored in the added time 90+2 of the match proved to be a decider.
Italy dominated the game for 30 straight minutes where the only thing left necessary were the clinical finishers. Their best chance was in the hands of Lorenzo Pellegrini, but the Roma midfielder failed to find the net and kept the clean sheet intact.
And what a goal! It came right outside the box, against one of the best defenses of the world to the far left corner.
Italy’s last games 40 results in all competitions:
This loss is even more surprising because of the unbelievable form with which Azzuri’s storm was scaring everyone around. The latest record of Italy right now is:
31 Wins (77.5%)
The astonishing thing is that they played The Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and England during this time without a single defeat.
North Macedonia hopes for World Cup and finals opponent:
The late winner of Aleksandar Trajkovski has stunned the Italians and football fans worldwide. The North Macedonia fans were crazy and showed disbelief having knocked out current European Champions.
However, their dream might be very short-lived. In other news, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal successfully defeated Turkey in the semi-finals of the World Cup play-offs. They will now face North Macedonia in the finals and the winner will qualify for the world cup in 2022.
Why is Portugal Playing World Cup Qualifiers?
The infamous story of the disallowed goal of Portugal against Serbia in 2021 aroused a lot of criticism from fans and the media.
In the very last minutes of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo managed to score a completely legal goal that could have sent Portugal directly to the World Cup 2022 that will be played in Qatar.
But unfortunately, the goal even though crossed the line was disallowed and disappointed every Ronaldo fan. Do remember that this might be the last world cup of his career and if he misses out on it, fans will see the worst endings to one of the greatest stories of football.
Portugal’s first match was against Turkey which did not seem a very dangerous opponent at first but proved to be lethal like every other small team with fewer expectations. But thanks to Diogo Jota, Monteiro, and Matheus Nunes’s goals, Portugal is set to face North Macedonia in the World Cup Qualifier Finals.
Also by Informiza: World Cup 2022: Gareth Bale scores a stunning brace against Austria