Four months after conquering Europe, Italy failed to secure automatic qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The European Champions were held to 0-0 draw on Monday night, while Switzerland did everything right against Bulgaria beating them 4 goals to nothing to finish top of the Group with 18 points to secure their place in Qatar next year.
The one whole draw against Switzerland on Friday means Italy needed a win against Northern Ireland, but couldn’t break the Green and White Army’s defense and had to settle for a goalless draw.
Jorginho’s penalty miss against the Swiss side made the Azzurri’s job more difficult as they could have qualified for the World Cup had he not blasted the spot kick over the bar.
Roberto Mancini’s men will now join Portugal Scotland, Sweden, Wales and the likes in the World Cup plays off schedule for March next year, the play off draw will be Friday 26th of November.
The prospect of missing out on the World Cup will bring back unpleasant memories of 2018 when the Italians failed to qualify for the second time in their history.