UEFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers Latest Updates: Italy's Roberto Mancini on World Cup miss after North Macedonia shock: 'I don't know what to say

Italy manager Roberto Mancini was left with a loss for words following his side's shocking 1-0 defeat to North Macedonia that will leave the Azzurri out of the World Cup for the second straight time

With Italy frustrated for 90 minutes by a heroic North Macedonia defensive performance, Aleksandar Trajkovski struck the only goal of the game in the second minute of added time, inflicting Italy's first defeat in 60 home World Cup qualifier

The victory in Palermo means North Macedonia, ranked 60 places below four-time World Cup champions Italy in the FIFA rankings, will now take on Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo in the playoff final on Tuesday with a place in Qatar on the line

"It's hard to say something right now, I don't know what to say," Mancini told reporter

It is also a shock for Italy after having won the delayed 2020 European Championship last summer against England in dramatic fashion in Wembley

"Last summer was the most beautiful joy, now comes the greatest disappointment. It is not easy to think of other things, I am very sorry for the boys: I love them much more tonight than in July

"I am the coach, I am the first responsible, the boys are not. They have a great future, they are strong players for the future of the national team. We did not deserve this defeat

Italy had 32 shots at goal to North Macedonia's five but it was not as if visiting goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski had the game of his life. He did not have a difficult save to make, and the home side not scoring was down to their own wastefulne

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