Genoa and Macedonia striker Goran Pandev “could tell Italy had nothing to play for” in the 1-1 World Cup qualifier draw.
His assist sent Palermo winger Aleksandar Trajkovski through for the equaliser in Turin after the Giorgio Chiellini opener.
“I thought we defended well and made the most of a counter-attack. That’s how you need to play against the big teams, otherwise you concede three or four and can’t get back on track,” Pandev told Rai Sport.
“We have young players who are growing and hope to do even better in future.
“I think Italy are a great side, they will get to Russia, have a lot of champions and you could tell they had nothing to play for, as they knew they’d be second.”
However, the Azzurri did have something to play for, because they are not yet guaranteed a place in the play-offs, nor are they sure of being top seeds in the draw.
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/