Andrea Barzagli reveals he had a muscular problem and acknowledges Italy put in “a bad performance” with Macedonia.
Giorgio Chiellini’s first half tap-in was cancelled out by substitute Aleksandar Trajkovski in a 1-1 draw.
“I had a slight muscular problem, so we preferred not to risk it,” the Juventus defender told Rai Sport after his half-time substitution.
This result means Italy must wait until Bosnia face Belgium tomorrow to know if they are even in the World Cup play-offs as one of the best eight runners-up.
“There were some jeers today, it’s disappointing, but everyone who pays their ticket can say what they want. Perhaps they expected better, we could’ve done more at times, but ending the game with a few jeers is always sad.
“We didn’t control the ball well enough in the second half and got tired. Even in the first half, we had some blackout moments. Fundamentally, it was a bad performance. If you are Italy and get a poor result against Macedonia, there can well be uproar.
“There were some absences, but those who stepped in did well. We do have the desire to improve and do well. We could do with a little more confidence on the pitch, as if gives you the strength to take the game in hand.
“We are Italy and we have to go to the World Cup.”