Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Ventura Slams Italy's Performance Against Macedonia

The new home kit is the first Italy strip to include the country's brand new badge The new home kit is the first Italy strip to include the country's brand new badge
Lillian Steele | 08 October, 2017, 01:15

Giampiero Ventura's misfiring Italy limped into the uncertainty of the World Cup qualifying playoffs after being held to a 1-1 draw by Macedonia in Turin.

The Azzurri need just a point from their final two Group G games to claim second place, with Spain's iron grip on top spot unlikely to be loosened.

Gian Piero Ventura's side were jeered off the pitch at the Stadio Olympico after failing to secure the three points demanded against the modest Macedonians as Spain qualified as Group G winners after beating Albania 3-0.

The result not only means Italy are guaranteed second place behind Spain but the result could have a disastrous impact on their ranking in the draw for November's play-offs.

Italy - crowned world champions for the fourth time in 2006 - were never likely to recover and win the group after losing 3-0 in Spain last month but a platform on which to build confidence heading into the playoffs was attendant.

Victory would have assured Gian Piero Ventura's side of another chance to qualify behind group victor Spain, but it was unable to see out a win in Torino.

"I think the whistles were an expression of disapproval by the crowd and they were in response to how we got on". We have a match waiting for us in Albania (on Monday) before the play-offs and we'll go out there to play.

Italy's outfield players have elected to wear their white away kit for the game so that legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon can have the honour of wearing iconic Azzurri blue for the first time.

"I thought we defended well and made the most of a counter-attack".

It was more of the same in the second half with Macedonia content to sit back and wait for an opening.

"Players like me who have been here for 20 years need to find a way to drag the other boys forward so we can give Italy the best chance of getting to the World Cup. We're Italy and we have to be there", defender Andrea Barzagli said.

However, after last night's shock draw to Macedonia, it's inconceivable to think he'll have the opportunity to see the contract through.

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