Italy again missed the final phase of the world Cup after losing 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in the playoff this Thursday, when an agonizing goal from Aleksandar Trajkovski gave the visitors an upset victory.
European champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup four years ago in their first failure to reach soccer’s top competition since 1958.
In the game played this Thursday in Palermo, they dominated from the beginning and it seemed that they would go ahead on the scoreboard, but they could not overcome the rival defense in the first half.
The hosts grew even more desperate in their pursuit of the stoppage goal, at a time when opportunities continued to come and go before Trajkovski scored a surprise goal in stoppage time to spark North Macedonia’s wild celebrations. .
The Italian team of Robert Mancini had 32 attempts on goal in the match but failed to convert, so North Macedonia will play Portugal in the play-off final next week for a place in the Qatar World Cup.