Spain punches World Cup ticket

08 Октября, 2017, 01:17 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Spain punches World Cup ticket

Italy have officially unveiled their 2018 home kit, which will be worn by legend Gianluigi Buffon in the country's World Cup qualifier against Macedonia.

Coach Giampiero Ventura blamed Italy's poor fitness levels for their dismal second half.

Spain secured their progression to Russian Federation as Group G winners on Friday, meaning Italy will have to settle for a place in the second round of qualifying, with Ireland similarly aiming for a play-off position as one of the best runners-ups in European qualification.

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.

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini hit the target his colleagues in the forward line have often struggled to find in Group G by nodding the Azzurri ahead in the 40th minute. We have a match waiting for us in Albania (tomorrow) before the play-offs and we'll go out there to play.

Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon - decked out in the new Azzurri blue kit for the 2018 World Cup - conceded that the four-time world champions were still reeling from last month's rout by Spain.

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Macedonia will likely sit deep and look to soak up Italian pressure, but the hosts should have more than enough to breach any rearguard action.

"I think that the Spain defeat affected our confidence and it still left a mark on this match", Buffon, 39, said referring to September's 3-0 defeat in Madrid.

"Maybe we thought that we're better than we are, even if a 1-0 win wouldn't have changed anything and a draw just extends a cycle that we need to get out of fast through pride, determination and a sense of responsibility".

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

On the whistles he faced as the tide turned against Italy in Turin, Ventura added: "Italy should never be whistled, the team represents all of us". The fans might well be disappointed but we must have their support at a time of need like this.

"I went off to avoid taking any risks", said the 36-year-old.

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