World Cup heartache for Bastoni, Barella, and Calhanoglu


A bitter night for the three Nerazzurri players involved: Italy beaten by North Macedonia, Turkey defeated by Portugal

It was a sorry evening for Italian football and three Inter players who saw their chances of playing in the Qatar 2022 World Cup evaporate. Nicolo Barella and Alessandro featured for Italy while Hakan Calhanoglu was in action for Turkey, yet their countries fell to defeat to North Macedonia and Portugal respectively.

It's the second time in a row that Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup. In Palermo, with both Bastoni and Barella in the starting line-up, the Azzurri created innumerable chances but were caught out on the counter attack by the visitors and Aleksandar Trajkovski's last-gasp goal saw Macedonia reach the next stage of the play-offs. Bastoni played the full 90 minutes while Barella was taken off with 13 minutes to go.

Hakan Calhanoglu also had a tough evening. The midfield maestro played the whole of Turkey's match in Porto which saw the hosts run out 3-1 winners. The Turks will be left ruing Burak Yilmaz's missed penalty when the scoreline was 2-1.

Tuesday will see Portugal take on North Macedonia in the play-off final to determine who reaches the World Cup.

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