Italy 0-1 North Macedonia: EURO champions miss World Cup AGAIN; Portugal 3-1 Turkey: Ronaldo & co. progress to the play-off final

It’s all to play for next week as Europe will fill up the remaining three slots allotted to them for the FIFA World Cup and be sure that Apex Football will bring you all the action as it happens. See you soon!

Italy miss World Cup again after unfathomable loss to North Macedonia

What a night…totally unexpected and unbelievable! European Champions Italy will not be at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, after suffering a shock 1-0 loss to North Macedonia in the play-off semi-final on Thursday night.

A 92nd minute strike from Trajkovski helped the minnows seal a playoff Final encounter against Portugal next week, who themselves saw off Turkey 3-1 with Otavio, Diogo Jota and Mattheus Nunes all on the scoresheet for the Selecao. Veteran striker Burak Yilmaz who scored what proved to be a consolation, missed a late second half penalty which would have made it 2-2 for the Turks.

FULL-TIME AT THE ESTADIO DO DRAGAO STADIUM: Portugal 3-1 Turkey

FULL-TIME IN PALERMO: Italy 0-1 North Macedonia

90+2′ MIN: What a beauty from just outside the box! Aleksandar Trajkovski lashes the ball with incredible pace and power into the bottom left corner.

GOOOAAALLL!!! Italy 0-1 North Macedonia (A. Trajkovski)

90+4′ MIN: Portugal have surely won this one! Matheus Nunes finds the back of the net off an assist from Rafael Leao.

GOOOAAALLL!!! Portugal 3-1 Turkey (M. Nunes)

83′ MIN: Burak Yilmaz misses the penalty! His poor effort goes well over the crossbar. The ball is off of the pitch and it’s a goal kick for Portugal.

PENALTY MISSED!!!

82′ MIN: The referee awards a spot-kick to Turkey, following consultation with the VAR after Fonte was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

PENALTY!!! To Turkey

65′ MIN: Cengiz Under lays the ball off to Burak Yilmaz, who shoots from close range into the top of the net, leaving the goalkeeper helpless.

GOOOAAALLL!!! Portugal 2-1 Turkey (B. Yilmaz)

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE ESTADIO DO DRAGAO STADIUM: Portugal 2-0 Turkey

SECOND HALF UNDERWAY IN PALERMO: Italy 0-0 North Macedonia

HALF-TIME AT THE ESTADIO DO DRAGAO STADIUM: Portugal 2-0 Turkey

HALF-TIME IN PALERMO: Italy 0-0 North Macedonia

42′ MIN: Diogo Jota leaps to meet a beautiful cross and produces a header which goes low inside the left post.

GOOOAAALLL!!! Portugal 2-0 Turkey (D. Jota)

15′ MIN: The Selecao finds the opener through Otavio off an assist from Bernardo Silva.

GOOOAAAALLLL!!! Portugal 1-0 Turkey (Otavio)

KICK-OFF IN PALERMO: Italy 0-0 North Macedonia

KICK-OFF AT THE ESTADIO DO DRAGAO STADIUM: Portugal 0-0 Turkey

In our other simultaneous fixture, Azzurri coach Roberto Mancini has named a line-up that has the likes of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, Marco Verratti of PSG and Lazio hitman Ciro Immobile.

The Turkish squad set to take on the Selecao of Portugal tonight at the Estadio do Dragao Stadium in Porto.

Selecao boss Fernando Santos has made a strong side available to him, as center-back duo of Ruben Dias and Pepe will not feature in tonight’s clash but there is a lot of Premier League representation with Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Joao Moutinho, Diogo Jota and Bernardo Silva all in the line-up.

It all comes down to tonight. Can Turkey pull off a shock or will Cristiano Ronaldo inspire Portugal and send them through to Tuesday’s final? A tense night could be in store as both sides push for World Cup qualification.

Portugal and Italy both find themselves in the same playoff group, following the draws last year. Both nations had been in the driving seat to clinch qualifications for the Mundial in their respective groups but surprisingly threw away their chances of making it to Qatar with ease. They now face the horrible possibility of not making the World Cup – at least, one of them WILL NOT be on the flight to the Middle East.

A great evening to you soccer fans! This is the playoff round of the European section for the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup set to hold in Qatar later this year and Apex Football will bring you LIVE updates of the fixtures involving Portugal vs Turkey and Italy vs North Macedonia.

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