‘Nooooooooo!’: Stunned Italian papers react to their side’s dismal World Cup play-off defeat by North Macedonia as they write Roberto Mancini’s side have gone ‘to hell’ after failing to qualify for the finals in Qatar
- Italy were dumped out of the World Cup play-offs after a shock defeat in Palermo
- Relative minnows North Macedonia defeated the European champions 1-0
- Aleksandar Trajkovski struck a famous winner for his side deep in stoppage time
- Italian papers have reacted with dismay at the result and the stunning exit
Italian newspapers were left in dismay following their side’s shock 1-0 defeat by North Macedonia that dumped them out of the World Cup play-offs.
Italy were expected to brush aside the relative minnows in Palermo but a stoppage time goal from Aleksandar Trajkovski handed the visitors a stunning victory to set up a play-off final against Portugal for a place in Qatar later on this year.
The result means that despite being crowned European Champions after defeating England at Wembley last summer, the Azzurri will now face having to sit out of a second consecutive World Cup having also slipped at the same stage against Sweden trying to reach Russia in 2018.
Tuttosport led with a simple ‘Nooooooooo!’ following Italy’s shock World Cup elimination
As expected, there was an outpouring of grief among the popular Italian outlets, with Tuttosport leading with a headline of: ‘Nooooooooo! underneath an image of Giorgio Chiellini confronting goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Gazzetta dello Sport, led with the same image with the headline reading: ‘Out of the World Cup’, while claiming under fire boss Roberto Mancini would have to think about resignation from his post.
Meanwhile, Corriere dello Sport’s front page showed Chelsea star Jorginho with his face buried inside his match shirt alongside Donnarumma with a headline reading ‘To Hell.’
The paper also reflects on an ‘elimination shock’ and Mancini’s ‘immense disappointment’ but that ‘for now, he remains’ in charge.
Meanwhile Gazetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport also reacted with dismay following Italy’s 1-0 defeat by North Macedonia in Palermo
When asked if he would continue in his role after failing to qualify, Mancini said: ‘We will see. I think everyone is too disappointed right now to talk about the future.’
Mancini though insists it is bad luck rather than a lack of quality that has denied his side qualification for the finals to be held in Qatar this winter.
‘Just as the Euros was the most wonderful experience of my life, this was the biggest disappointment’ he said. ‘We can say nothing, that is football, sometimes incredible things happen and it happened.
‘We shouldn’t have been here in the first place, but we did everything we could to win and it’s hard to even talk about it.
Italy boss Roberto Mancini has refused to discuss his future following his side’s defeat
Italy players look on with dismay having been dumped out of the World Cup play-offs again
‘The victory at the Euros was absolutely deserved, we played great football. Then some of the fortune we had in that tournament turned into total and complete bad luck, as some unbelievable things happened from September onwards.
‘We dominated the group, all we needed was one of those moments to go well, but neither of them did. Tonight, it feels almost as if conceding a goal at the 92nd minute was fitting.
‘This is a group of fine players and I am sorry for them.’
Defender Giorgio Chiellini shared a similar sentiment while appearing to back Mancini by saying: ‘There is great disappointment. We played a good game, we missed the goal. I’m proud of my teammates. We are destroyed. I hope the future is still with Mr. Mancini.’
When quizzed on his own international future the 37-year-old Italian captain said ‘This is not the time to say whether or not this is my last match in the national team.’