ROME, NOV 18: Italy took a big step towards qualification for Euro 2024 on Friday after an eventful 5-2 win over North Macedonia.
Federico Chiesa struck twice in the first half after Matteo Darmian nodded the hosts into an early lead.
Giacomo Raspadori and Stephan El Shaarawy secured the three points late on and two second-half strikes from Jani Atanasov threatened a tense night for the Azzurri.
The win at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome moved Italy into second in Group C behind already-qualified England.
It means that Luciano Spalletti's team need only draw against third-placed Ukraine in Leverkusen on Monday to book a place in next summer's tournament in Germany.
"The important thing is that we won. We conceded two goals that I don't think we deserved to concede," said Chiesa.
"We are more positive under Spalletti, and that means we take a few more risks in defence. We showed that we wanted to dominate the play and we deserved to win."
Qualifying would help the European champions bury the ghosts of last year's traumatic failure to qualify for a second straight World Cup.
North Macedonia had become Italy's bogey team after denying Italy a spot in Qatar and drawing the previous group match in September. �AFP
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