Jorginho haunted by penalty miss as Italy are knocked out of World Cup qualifiers
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Jorginho haunted by penalty miss as Italy are knocked out of World Cup qualifiers

Italy and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho says he is still haunted by his penalty miss as the Azzurri crashed out of the World Cup qualifiers. 

The midfielder cut a dejected figure at the end of their World Cup qualifier loss to North Macedonia on Thursday night admitting that he is tortured by two costly penalty misses during the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Aleksandar Trajkovski’s stunning 92nd strike from distance silenced the crowd in Perlamo, meaning Italy will miss their second consecutive World Cup. 

“It hurts when I think about it, because I do still think about it and it will haunt me for the rest of my life," the Chelsea midfielder told RAI Sport.

"Stepping up there twice and not being able to help your team and your country is something that I will carry with me forever, and it weighs on me.

“People say we need to lift our heads and carry on, but it’s tough.”

Jorginho admits it will take time for the team to recover from such a blow. 

“It is hard to explain what happened,” he added.

“It hurts so much. I’ll be honest, I am still incredulous. I don’t think we lacked creativity, as we always dominated matches and created so many chances. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish them off.

“We played good football, we won the European Championship last summer, but unfortunately in the last few games we made small errors and were unable to recover from them. They made the difference.”

Jorginho missed the target from a spot-kick in the final minute of Italy's 1-1 draw with Switzerland in November, and the result has come to haunt them.