Italy may once again be left out of a major tournament. The current European champion has complicated its chances of retaining the title, after drawing against North Macedonia in the debut of its new coach, Luciano Spalletti. Ciro Immobile paved the way for the Azzurri in the second half, but Enis Bardhi equalized with 10 minutes remaining and the result would no longer move.
The Italian team returned to the qualifying phase for Euro 2024, after playing in the final phase of the Nations League in June, in which they lost to Spain in the semifinals. With only two games played and three points, since they beat Malta but lost against England, they were obliged to win so as not to overly complicate their chances of being in the event that will be held next summer in Germany.
Furthermore, the draw between Ukraine and England demanded even more from Italy. Spalletti’s team had to add three points to get closer to the second place occupied by the Ukrainians and which gives access to the Euros. But they were not able. The Italian team once again showed a version that was far from what was expected, against a lower-level team, but which already left them out of the last World Cup in Qatar.
Once again, they faced each other again, just a year later, and they did so in what could practically be considered another final. Ciro Immobile put the Azzurri ahead at the start of the second half, paving the way to the three points. However, Italy did not know how to close the match and ended up paying for it. The former Levante player Enis Bardhi appeared in the final stretch of the match to snatch the three points from Spalletti’s team, who did not want to debut in office with a victory that was desired as fundamental.
Now, the Italian team plays without a net. They still depend on themselves, since they will have to play twice against Ukraine, from which they are three points behind. Any new failure could cause an elimination that would lead them to be absent from a major championship for the second consecutive time, since they were not in Qatar, just as they were not at the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
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