Witness the full replay and highlights of the intense showdown between Italy and North Macedonia. This dramatic match is part of the UEFA Euro 2024 Qualification, Group C – Matchday 9. The action kicks off at 19:45 GMT on Friday, November 17, 2023. Refereeing this high-stakes game is none other than Felix Zwayer from Germany, and the venue for this epic battle is the renowned Stadio Olimpico in Roma. Don’t miss the exhilarating display of skill, determination, and sportsmanship as these two teams clash on the field.
Italy vs North Macedonia Full Match Reports
The defending champions, Italy, orchestrated a captivating finale in UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying, triumphing over familiar rivals North Macedonia with a resounding 5-2 victory. This win propelled Italy into second place in Group C, setting the stage for a pivotal encounter with Ukraine on Monday.
Only four players remained in the Italian lineup from the squad that suffered the infamous elimination in World Cup qualifying against North Macedonia last year. Despite the changed personnel, nerves reverberated across the pitch as the Azzurri cautiously initiated the game. The visitors, already eliminated this time, opted to adopt a defensive stance in an attempt to thwart Italy’s ambitions once again. However, this strategy backfired as Italy broke the deadlock. Following a short corner, Giacomo Raspadori delivered an enticing cross to the far post, where Matteo Darmian rose to head in his first international goal since 2015.
The significance of this goal unleashed a wave of relief at the Stadio Olimpico. The celebrations continued when referee Felix Zwayer deemed Nikola Serafimov’s handball worthy of a penalty. Jorginho, reminiscent of his miss against Switzerland in 2022, faltered from the spot. Nevertheless, Stole Dimitrievski’s heroics were in vain as he conceded two more goals before halftime. First, Nicolò Barella’s clever backheel set up Federico Chiesa to score from 18 yards. Chiesa then secured his brace with a heavily-deflected strike that looped into the far corner.
Despite the seemingly settled scoreline, North Macedonia commenced the second half with relentless intensity, narrowing the deficit just seven minutes in. Substitute Jani Atanasov rose to meet Ezgjan Alioski’s cross, heading over Gianluigi Donnarumma for his inaugural goal for the Lynxes. Atanasov wasn’t finished, reducing Italy’s lead to one with a powerful long-range shot that beat Donnarumma, aided by a deflection off Francesco Acerbi.
Visible fear crept onto Azzurri faces, but they withstood the relentless North Macedonia press, securing two late goals. First, Raspadori showcased precision with a well-placed finish, followed by Stephan El Shaarawy sweeping in Federico Dimarco’s cross in stoppage time. Elevating to 13 points in Group C, Italy’s H2H advantage against Ukraine positions them favorably. A draw on matchday eight would suffice, avoiding a second consecutive absence from major international tournaments and sending Luciano Spalletti’s squad to Germany to defend their title.
Player of the Match: Federico Chiesa (Italy).