Football: One big name to miss out with Italy and Portugal in same World Cup play-off bracket

The Azzurri and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal both finished second in their qualifying groups. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP, REUTERS) - European champions Italy and Portugal, the side they succeeded, could meet for a place at the 2022 World Cup after being drawn in the same play-off bracket on Friday (Nov 26).

The Azzurri and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal both finished second in their qualifying groups, behind Switzerland and Serbia respectively.

Italy will host North Macedonia in the play-off first round for Path C, with Turkey visiting Portugal, before the winners face off for a spot at next year's finals in Qatar.

The 12 teams were split into three four-team paths - each with its own semi-finals and final. Seeded teams were guaranteed a home game in the semi-finals.

The three winning teams from each path qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.

Path A - Semi-final 1: Scotland v Ukraine; Semi-final 2: Wales v Austria

Path B - Semi-final 3: Russia v Poland; Semi-final 4: Sweden v Czech Republic

Path C - Semi-final 5: Italy v North Macedonia; Semi-final 6: Portugal v Turkey

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.