Italy say goodbye to World Cup in Qatar and Bale ‘reborn’ leads Wales

As happened in Russia 2018, Italy won’t be in the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The ‘Azzurra’, crowned European champion less than a year ago, fell eliminated in repechage. his executioner it was a united and tireless North Macedonia in defensive efforts. Dominant Italy fired 32 times, including five on goal, but Trajkovski’s precise shot decided when the game headed into extra time. The Balkan side will face Portugal on the 29th for a ticket to what would be their first World Cup.

undisputed favorite, Italy had to overcome the extra weight of its history. To the ghost of elimination against Sweden in the play-off before the 2018 World Cup, which was the first absence of the “Azzurra” in 60 years. To ward off the shadow of that fateful night at San Siro, the transalpine team found themselves this time at the Renzo Barbera stadium in Palermo, whose last and only defeat dated back to 1994.

The handset of Roberto Mancini presented several mandatory changes from the block that raised the Europe championship at Wembley less than a year ago. To the long-term injuries of Spinazzola and Chiesa is added the inexhaustible defensive duo composed of Chiellini and Bonucci, replaced by Bastoni and Gianluca Mancini. For the rest, a very recognizable eleven, sufficient in theory to beat a North Macedonia without its star, the Neapolitan Eljif Elmas.

Although in the absence of Chiellini the captaincy returned to Ciro Immobile, was Marco Verratti who pulled the cart in a first act of great dominance and little threat from the ‘Nazionale’. With Levante’s Enis Bardhi emptying out to clear Jorginho, the diminutive PSG midfielder has multiplied his influence on the pitch. He came down to receive, beat rivals behind the wheel and screened passes with precision.

Italy were patient with the ball, but the forwards lacked mobility and aggression by a point when unchecking against a North Macedonia well planted in their own ground, very united to help protect the goal of Rayista Stole Dimitrievski. Dangerous chances lurked after half an hour of play.

The first was a gift from Dimitrievsky. Berardi intercepted the keeper’s send off at the edge of the box but was so desperate to make sure his hungry shot ended up in the keeper’s hands. Immediately afterwards, Verratti found Immobile inside the area, who deflected the battering ram’s whiplash with his fingertips. Dimitrievski reappeared to stop a long shot from Insigne and the referee ruled out a possible Ademi penalty at the hands of Immobile.

North Macedonia bared its fangs ahead of the holidays. Florenzi, with a providential tackle in the back, repelled Churlinov when he was already facing Donnarumma and Trajkovski fired close to the post after a fine maneuver from Bardhi.

Nobody represented the frustrating Italian insistence after the break quite like Berardi. He fired twice with his left, one came out centered and the other very crossed. He tried it with his right hand, but the shot went high. And more clearly, after having laid down with his chest a sending of Insigne, Alioski covered the shot “in extremis”. There was no way and the rush grew as the clock ticked on, without North Macedonia losing any order or energy.

Mancini has exhausted the changes. Pellegrini and Raspadori, newly incorporated, fired dangerously, but outside the goal. The debut of the Italian-Brazilian Joao Pedro and the exit of Chiellini, who rubbed his hands before leaving without being able to hide his smile, contrasted with the lost gaze of the Alpine coach. Maybe he sensed the drama. In the second minute of added time, Trajkovski fired a long cross shot past Donnarumma. There was no time for more. For the second consecutive edition, Italy will not be in the World Cup.


Italy: Donnarumma; Florenzi, Mancini (Chiellini, 90′), Bastoni, Emerson; Barella (Tonali, 77′), Jorginho, Verratti; Berardi (Joao Pedro, 90′), Immobile (Pellegrini, 77′) and Insigne (Raspadori, 64′).

North Macedonia: Dimitrievsky; S. Ristovsky, Velkovski, Musliu, Alioski; Churlinov, Ademi (Askovski, 59′), Bardhi, Nikolov (Spirovski, 59′); M. Ristovski (Miovski, 72′) and Trajkovski.

Goal: 0-1 M. 90+2 Trajkovski .

Arbitrator: Clement Turpin (France). AT: Veltovsky (80′).

Incidents: Qualifying semi-final match for access to the Qatar 2022 World Cup played at the Renzo Barbera stadium in Palermo in front of 34,129 spectators.

There is no World Cup for Italy, European champions less than a year ago. Their third loss in 44 games Since his absence at Russia 2018, he has been taken away from a place where he should always be and where Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Croatia, l England, Germany, Brazil, already have a safe place. Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan and Qatar, the latter being the host of the competition which will start on November 21 this year.

Portugal responds to forecasts

North Macedonia challenge now to Portugal on Portuguese soil. In the heat of his home crowd at Do Dragao, Cristiano and his teammates beat Turkey (2-1). They only needed 41 minutes to impose the predictions, even if they then suffered to maintain their victory.

The 2-0 was then an indisputable demonstration of the Portuguese team, without joao felix -substitute regardless of the splendor of his current moment at Atlético de Madrid, then he came on in the 71st minute- and with Cristiano Ronaldo, although his team did not demand the goals of their star to bring down their opponent with a speed that was ultimately more apparent than anything else.

The desolation of Turkey after their duel against Portugal. EFE

Because, if after a quarter of an hour a shot on the post by Bernardo Silva opened the way from 1-0 to otavioquick to reach rejection of the message and turn it into much more, and an accurate header of Diogo Jota seemed to stifle the reaction of their rival and doom the game in the 41st minute, Turkey rebelled against such a difference with 2-1 Burak Yilmaz who kept the emotion alive and put Cristiano Ronaldo’s block on the ropes to such an extent that the Turkish striker was awarded a penalty in the 85th minute to force extra time. He threw it into the clouds. And all of Portugal breathed a sigh of relief, even more with Matheus 3-1 in added time.

Wales triumph thanks to ‘the other’ Bale

Endowed with an indisputable quality, when Gareth Bale plays for his national team he is an undisputed leader for Wales, who settled their duel against Austria on Thursday with a magnificent “double” from their star, direction l one of the three finals of the European playoffs. for the 2022 World Cup, against the winner of the Scotland-Ukraine postponed due to Russian invasion and pending date.

Bale has played the same games this season for his country (five out of eight possible) than with Real Madrid (five out of 40 possible). Just four days after being unavailable for a ‘clasico’ dimension game between his side and Barcelona, ​​the striker has reappeared with Wales. With the red jersey of his country, he is another footballer, a player who makes the difference, gets involved, plays, acts as a leader and discovers all his football.

Bale celebrating with Wales. EFE

There was never any doubt about his talent, precision, skill or ability. Combined with his unwavering commitment to his national team (much more uncertain with his club Real Madrid), a towering version of Bale emerges, determined to lead his side to a World Cup 64 years later. Since 1958, Wales have not participated in a final tournament. The great goal with which he scored 1-0 expresses the contradictions of his career, today a minor player, insignificant, in his club, but a definitive footballer for Welsh football.

He defeated Austria. In the 25th minute, the 1-0 direct free kick represented perfection, for striking, for power, for direction, for any quality that such a shot implies. A terrific left-footed goal that no one would have hit, not even the best of goalkeepers. in the same teamand possibly at the World Cup, still waiting to beat Scotland or Ukraine, depending on who wins who in their postponed game.

Bale didn’t stop there, who widened the gap early in the second half, in a cross that seemed like nothing at all, until suddenly the ’11’ tamed the ball with his right to connect immediately after a left-footed cross shot that surprised almost everyone but him. so convinced when he plays with his team, and his teammates, so accustomed to contemplating the best current repertoire of the footballer. Austria scored 2-1 with 25 minutes remaining. He didn’t go any further. It was not enough.

Bale, who finished with some discomfort, still needs another win to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, just like Robert Lewandowski and Poland. Directly in the final at home, due to the exclusion of Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, he met his rival on Thursday: Sweden. And with the added benefit of the extra-time charge he had to play to beat the Czech Republic (1-0) at Solna, whose goal was disallowed by the referee early in the game.

Then the duel lasted up to two hours into the game. From minute 109 he won Sweden, which was chained with the objective of following the course until its final. The goal was Quaison, who combined on a wall with Alexander Isak to overwhelm the defense of the Czech republic. next tuesday awaits Poland. And the World Cup?

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