Italy head coach Roberto Mancini insisted that they did everything to win but admitted that the defeat was the biggest disappointment under his spell. The Italian also added that his future is now in the air after the loss to North Macedonia which means they miss out on the 2022 World Cup.
Italy hosted North Macedonia at the Stadio Renzo Barbera in Palermo in their crucial play-off semi-final clash but ended up failing to make home advantage count as the away side secured a huge upset by winning 1-0 on Thursday. The Euro 2020 champions were the overwhelming favourites to progress into the finals and reflected their dominance throughout the match. The Azzurri had an incredible 32 shots at goal, to North Macedonia’s four but couldn’t find a breakthrough.
The contest looked set for extra time after 90 minutes until Aleksandar Trajkovski fired home a stunning late goal to secure a shock win for the away side. The defeat means that Italy will miss out on the World Cup for the second successive tournament and became one of three sides to win the Euros but miss out on the World Cup. Italy manager Roberto Mancini cast doubts on his future, despite signing a four-year contract extension last year, while also declaring that the defeat was the biggest disappointment under his tenure.
“I think that if last July was the best thing I had professionally, I think this is the biggest disappointment. You can’t say anything. This is football. Sometimes incredible things happen and tonight it’s It happened.Maybe we shouldn’t have been there, but we did everything to try to win. It is difficult to comment on this match, with a goal that arrived after the 90th minute without conceding anything else,” Mancini told Rai Sport.
“This is a group with great players and I’m sorry because we didn’t deserve it. Now it is too early to talk about the future, we still have to digest this defeat. We will see. Now I feel too disappointed to speak about my future, we will see. I’m sure this team has a great future. I’m supporting these players now more than ever” he added.