Italy again miss World Cup: Italy’s long and storied history in international football came to an end Thursday night as the Azzurri lost 1-0 to North Macedonia in their UEFA World Cup qualifying playoff semifinal.
The loss means Italy will miss the World Cup for the second time in a row, an unprecedented low point for the four-time champions.
Italy got off to a strong start in the match but struggled to find a way past the wall of red shirts North Macedonia put up in defense.
The Azzurri were gifted a great chance in the 30th minute after a horrendous kick from the North Macedonia goalkeeper left Domenico Berardi with an open goal, but he scuffed his shot, and Stole Dimitrievski got back in time to make the save.
Italy was unable to convert on several other chances throughout the match, and North Macedonia took advantage with a late goal from Aleksandar Trajkovski to seal the victory.
Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup is a bitter pill to swallow for a nation that has been one of the most successful in international football.
The Azzurri will now have to regroup and try to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.