Macedonia striker Goran Pandev: Italy just went through motions

Italy have unveiled their new 2018 home kit that will be worn by Gianluigi Buffon on Friday

Italy face Macedonia in Turin later on Friday needing a point to secure a place in the World Cup qualification playoffs.

Italy is now second in Group G with 19 points, just three points back of first-place Spain. However, it needs a point against Albania on Monday to ensure it finishes as one of the best eight runners-up from the nine groups.

"At this point we need a psychological turning point".

The result not only means Italy are guaranteed second place behind Spain but the result could have a disastrous impact on their ranking in the draw for November's play-offs. I had moments that were positive and negative, like all coaches.

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.

On the occasion of his 172nd cap, he told Sky Sport Italia: "The favourite sport at this time of year is to criticise the coach, but I think a team like this and players like us should be winning these games anyway and it doesn't depend on the coach".

Records just tumble when Gianluigi Buffon is around.

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"We put in a good first half performance, but the second was insufficient and unfortunately Macedonia got the equaliser".

"We're really frustrated. We are sorry for the fans, we understand them and we are as upset as they are, but I am sure they will support us when we need them", said Chiellini.

The setback against 103rd-ranked Macedonia could also have a negative impact on Italy's world ranking - now 17th - as they bid to ensure a favourable seeding for the play-off draw next month.

It was more of the same in the second half with Macedonia content to sit back and wait for an opening.

"That made a big difference and when that drops, the sharpness goes", he said.

"Will we go to the World Cup?"

Italy - crowned world champions for the fourth time in 2006 - were never likely to recover and win the group after losing 3-0 in Spain last month but a platform on which to build confidence heading into the playoffs was attendant.

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