INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL

North Macedonia stuns Italy in the World Cup Qualifiers

Italy National Team

North Macedonia knocked Italy out of qualifying on Thursday, in one of the most surprising upsets in recent international soccer history. Italy will miss their second World Cup in a row.

Even though the qualification phase will not be done until Scotland’s match against Ukraine is resolved. The match has been postponed due to Russia’s recent invasion. Whereas, Paths B and C results will be decided this month.

 Moreover, Gareth Bale and Wales have also qualified for the next stage. They will now face the victors of Scotland vs. Ukraine in June.

UEFA World Cup qualifying results

  • Italy 0, North Macedonia 1
  • Portugal 3, Turkey 1
  • Wales 2, Austria 1
  • Sweden 1, Czech Republic 0 (AET)

Because of the participation of “big hitters” in Italy and Portugal, Path C was seen as the most difficult to forecast. Portugal demonstrated their might by defeating Turkey 3-1, aided by a home crowd. Otávio, an offensive midfielder for FC Porto, and Liverpool’s Jota scored the game’s opening two goals at Estádio do Drago.

 The same fate as Turkey was set for North Macedonia as well. During the game, the Azzurri attempted 32 shots on the Macedonian goal posts. In addition, Jorginho and his teammates had ample time and space on the ball to create chances. But they failed to score the goal eventually.

Even as a statistician trying to be one, there is no doubting the “romantic” part of football. This is a chaotic sport where squad strength doesn’t always matter. It’s what happened tonight when Aleksandar Trajkovski’s strike knocked one of the World Cup favorites out of contention.

And with that, Italy is out of the World Cup for the second time. Whereas, North Macedonia advances to face Portugal in the last Path C encounter.

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