North Macedonia hold Italy in the Euro Qualifiers as the Azzurri are behind England and Ukraine in their group C. The Azzurri started a new era with Luciano Spelletti’s first match at the helm. The turf at Tose Proeski Arena was rough, which affected the players and their style of play. Italy went with their familiar 4-3-3 formation, but Spalletti decided to keep Frattesi on the bench. Cristante and Sandro Tonali were in the midfield to partner with the Nerazzurri maestro Barella. Meanwhile, Spalletti’s former player, Elif Elmas took the left forward position for North Macedonia.
The Azzurri had a comfortable start to the game, and Barella had put the ball into the net in the third minute. However, the Nerazzurri midfielder was in an off-side position. Italy had another chance from the corner as Dimarco provided a brilliant in-swinging ball in the box. However, Cristante’s header went wide of the post.
The host’s best chance of the half came from Miovski, as Alioski won the ball from Politano striding forward to provide a dangerous cross for Miovski. However, his header went wide, and Donnarumma was relieved as he did not have it covered. Tonali then had a great chance to get the lead. The Newcastle United midfielder came forward and fired a low shot. But Dimitrievski got his fingertips to it, and the ball hit the post.
North Macedonia hold Italy 1-1 at Skopje
Italy finally got their lead after continuous domination through their captain Immobile. The Azzurri broke the deadlock right after the first half. The hosts could not clear the ball properly from Lorenzo’s cross. The ball came to Barella, who fired a brilliant volley at the crossbar. Luckily, the ball went to Immobile, who was not marked at the far post and placed his header to give Italy the lead.
The Azzurri could not extend their lead, and North Macedonia was now coming out of their shell. Elmas’ curling effort was close to equalizing. The hosts got their equalizer from a splendid free-kick from Bardhi. The North Macedonia captain placed his free-kick to perfection, giving Donnarumma no chance. Spalletti made some changes soon, but Italy could not get their lead back. They will face Ukraine at the San Siro on Tuesday.