'A disaster!' - North Macedonia stun Italy in World Cup play-off to set up Portugal decider

Alessandro Florenzi Italy 2021-22Getty Images

Italy have crashed out of World Cup contention with a 1-0 loss to North Macedonia on Thursday.

The defending Euro champions conceded late in the play-off to seal their fate.

Aleksandar Trajkovski scored the winning goal with a low strike from outside the box.

Watch: North Macedonia's winning goal

What has been said?

"It’s just so difficult to explain," Italy midfielder Marco Verratti told RAI Sport. "It was a nightmare.

“Looking around the locker room, we had the players to challenge for the tournament itself, yet here we are talking about a disaster. It’s so tough to go from hero to zero.

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“We experienced special times together and I will always be proud of my teammates. This is football, you need to score goals. We didn’t manage it, but we gave everything we had. It wasn’t enough.

“We have to ask ourselves questions now. There’s some bad luck, but you also need to make your own luck.”

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