Italy and North Macedonia play at 3:1 at Olimpico in a match from the penultimate round of the European qualifiers in Group C. Matteo Darmian (17) opened the scoring, and Enrico Chiesa scored twice before the break (41, 45). Jorginho missed a penalty minute before the second goal.
The three points are a must for the hosts in their battle with Ukraine for second place. The North Macedonians have already tripped up Italy once after the first match between the two teams ended in a draw.
The Italian team pressed from the first whistle and the visitors had a hard time getting out of their own half. In the 11th minute, Giacomo Raspadori sent the ball into the net of North Macedonia, but the goal was disallowed due to an ambush.
Aggressive play from the home side paid off in the 17th minute when a short play from a corner was followed by Raspadori’s fine cross to the far post. There, the “forgotten” Matteo Darmian met the ball with his head and easily sent it behind Dimitrievski’s back – 1:0.
And after the goal, the Azzurri continued to attack furiously, but mistakes by Raspadori and Chiesa deprived them of new joy. In the 35th minute, Dimarco tried a spectacular volley, but he also missed the target. Five minutes before the break, Italy were awarded a penalty for a handball by Serafimov after Gatti’s header. Behind the ball stood Jorginho, but his execution was terrible and Dimitrievski caught the ball.
The lapse did not stop the Squad and seconds later the result became 2:0. The ball lingered around the visitors’ penalty area for a long time, and Federico Barella found the perfect follow-up, back-heeling to Enrico Chiesa. He, on the other hand, left no chance for the opponent’s guard with a measured shot.
The North Macedonians were knocked down and the third goal was not late. In stoppage time of the first half, Chiesa attempted a shot from the corner of the penalty area, the ball ricocheted off Dimoski’s leg and into the net.
LIVE | ITALY – NORTH MACEDONIA 3:1
Italy: Donnarumma, Darmian, Gatti, Acerbi, Dimarco, Barella, Jorginho, Bonaventura, Berardi, Raspadori, Chiesa
North Macedonia: Dimitrievski, Manev, Serafimov, Musliu, Dimoski, Elezi, Ademi, Alioski, Bardi, Elmas, Miovski