Mancini 'sure' Italy will qualify for World Cup

By Sports Desk November 12, 2021

Roberto Mancini is "sure" European champions Italy will qualify for the 2022 World Cup following their 1-1 draw against Switzerland.

Top spot in Group C will be decided in the final round of games after Jorginho missed a late penalty for Euro 2020 winners Italy in Rome on Friday.

Italy fell behind to a powerful Silvan Widmer strike after 11 minutes but hit back through fellow right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo's header before half-time. 

The Azzurri – who failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia three years ago – had a glorious chance to seize control on the road to Qatar 2022, however, Jorginho skied his 90th-minute spot-kick over the crossbar.

Automatic qualification is in the balance, though Italy have a slightly better goal difference, so they only need to match Switzerland's final-game result to finish top of the pool and condemn Murat Yakin's men to the play-offs in March and head coach Mancini remains confident.

"They are sorry, it's normal," Mancini told reporters, with Italy to visit Northern Ireland on Monday as Switzerland host Bulgaria.

"And then a penalty like that in the 90th minute, it's clear that they are sorry but nothing can be done now. We will get to the World Cup, I'm sure."

Italy boss Mancini added: "It's complicated but we are two goals ahead. We have to go there, try to play our game and win and hope that Bulgaria will have a great game.

"We have to play our game and win, this is our task. Right now, we must recover our energy, it was a very tough game. We need to be confident, even when things don't seem to go well, they can change.

"The team always try to do their best, in some moments of the season the players struggle more and the many injuries are a demonstration of this.

"Two goals are two goals; they seem like nothing but they are two goals… and then who says that Bulgaria cannot get a positive result? We are slightly ahead, now we are thinking about winning in Northern Ireland."

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