Italy failed to qualify directly for the FIFA World Cup “Qatar 2022” after its goalless draw with Northern Ireland in the final round of the group stage in the European qualifiers.
Italy relinquished the top spot in Group C in favor of Switzerland, which accomplished its mission perfectly, by defeating Bulgaria 4-0 to take the lead with 18 points and qualify directly for the World Cup.
On the other hand, Italy was satisfied with the runner-up position with 16 points and will play in the European play-off that qualifies for the World Cup.
Final standings for Group C teams:
1- Switzerland 18 points.
2- Italy 16 points.
3- Northern Ireland 9 points.
4- Bulgaria 8 points.
5- Lithuania 3 points.
Switzerland scored four times against Bulgaria, with Noa Okafor, Robin Vargas, Cedric Etienne and Remo Frelier in the 48, 57, 72 and 90+1 minutes, respectively.
Thirteen European teams qualify for the World Cup finals, and they are the ten group champions, while the runner-up teams will play a play-off with the participation of two qualified teams from the European Nations League. The 12 teams will be divided into three tracks determined by a lottery, and four teams compete in each semi-final system ( 24-25 March) and a final match (28-29 March), to determine the identity of the other three teams that will represent the “old continent” in the World Cup in Qatar.