The Italian national team lost 0-1 to North Macedonia in the semifinal match of the Path C play-off of the 2022 World Cup at the Stadio Renzo Barbera, Friday (25/3/2022) early morning WIB. The minor result made Italy fail to reach the 2022 World Cup finals. (AFP/Alberto PIZZOLI)
The North Macedonian national team surprisingly got rid of Italy for a chance to appear in the 2022 World Cup. They succeeded in overthrowing Italy 1-0 thanks to Aleksandar Trajkovski’s goal on Friday (25/3/2022) early morning WIB.
Constantly attacked throughout the match, North Macedonia actually managed to score a goal on the counter-attack in second-half injury time. Aleksandar Trajkovski managed to become the hero of North Macedonia’s victory over Gli Azzurri.
With this result, they are getting closer to qualifying for the World Cup for the first time. Since independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, they have not even been able to appear in the most prestigious football event.
Blagoja Milevski’s squad is also confident that they can beat Portugal in the decisive match, namely the play-off final to ensure a ticket to Qatar. The match is scheduled to be held at the Do Dragao Stadium, Porto, Wednesday (30/3/2022) early morning WIB.
“I am very happy with this victory (over Italy) and I expect a great welcome when I return to North Macedonia,” said North Macedonia captain Stefan Ristovski after the match, quoted by the BBC.
“Can we beat Portugal? Yes, we will win.
Fantastic Win North Macedonia players celebrate their victory over Italy during the 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off match at the Renzo Barbera stadium, in Palermo, Italy, Friday (24/3/2022). With this result, Italy failed to advance to the Qatar 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
North Macedonia actually played a stressful match from host Italy. It is very rare for North Macedonian players to be seen in the Italian area. The ball is often snatched before it crosses the halfway line. But that was not a problem for the opponent who had carried out a defensive game from the start.
As a result, Gli Azzurri find it difficult to create opportunities. Several national team shots were often stopped at the feet of North Macedonian defenders who packed the penalty box.
Italy also outsmarted by releasing long-range shots, most of which did not meet the target. There were only a few chances that made North Macedonian goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski work hard.
Towards the end of the match or when entering injury time, North Macedonia managed to break into Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal through the action of Aleksandar Trajkovski. The ball from the shot was released from outside the penalty box and Donnarumma failed to reach the ball. 1-0, North Macedonia take the lead.
Italy immediately panicked. They tried to launch an attack, but the organization of the game had fallen apart. North Macedonia managed to maintain its lead until the long whistle sounded.
Portugal Response Portugal national team won 3-1 over Turkey in the semifinal match of Path C play-off 2022 World Cup at Estadio do Dragao, Friday (25/3/2022). The result made Portugal qualify for the final and maintain hope of reaching the 2022 World Cup finals. (AP Photo/Luis Vieira)
Meanwhile, in Portugal, their coach Fernando Santos refuses to underestimate North Macedonia, which will be faced in the final of the 2022 World Cup Qualification playoffs. Because North Macedonia has already shown its fangs by burying Italy’s dream of appearing in the 2022 World Cup.
Yes, Portugal will meet North Macedonia in the final match of the 2022 World Cup Qualification playoffs. Portugal itself has just defeated Turkey with a score of 3-1 at the Do Dragao Stadium, Porto, at the same time that North Macedonia knocked out Italy.
Santos as the coach from Portugal admitted that he would immediately focus on the match against North Macedonia. Apparently, he was quite surprised by the results received by North Macedonia for being able to silence Italy.
“This game is a final and it’s always complicated. That will be our focus,” said Santos.
The 67-year-old coach did not want to underestimate North Macedonia. Because according to him, the country should not be underestimated. Santos considered his opponent quite difficult to beat. Remember, they managed to beat the 2020 European Cup champions.
“This match is over. Now we have to focus on North Macedonia, which will definitely be a tough game. If they manage to beat Italy, that means it will be very difficult,” said Santos.