Belfast. Italy, who beat Northern Ireland, will have to fight again for the 2022 World Cup pass in Qatar. Belfast did not go beyond 0-0, and with Switzerland’s victory over Bulgaria, they lost Group C’s first place on the final day, forcing themselves back into the play – offs. Several goals were needed to eliminate all forms of anxiety, but the wrong nine trident chosen by the blue coach would not have the desired results.
Northern Ireland responds with a five-man defense in a non-possession phase that utilizes the ball-to-ground patterns of European champions. So, behind the defenders, especially the deep throws in the right lane: de Lorenzo is the first danger from parts of the Peacock-Farrell, a cross that is reactive in Smanachier is likely to mock him at a distant post. For the rest of the first half, the home defender is questioned only by the barrel or insine, central, not-so-powerful shots.
The teams return to the locker room 0-0, with Kristen’s tonal (yellow card a few minutes later) in the second half but Northern Ireland getting the better of the blocks: the first ring is from Saville, the height of the point is forgotten, but Donarumma responds.
When Switzerland releases in Lucerne and put pressure on Italy, Cheese sends him down to his left and Mancini plays the Bellotti card. But, like the Skamaka of the 80s, not even the spark of Bernardeschi and Locatelli sparks. The clock is ticking, Barrack’s men’s organization raises the triple whistle in Belfast’s pit: Italy’s run to the World Cup is not over yet.
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