Akademija Pandev is the winner of the 27th edition of the Macedonian Cup after they celebrated over Makedonija GjP in the grand final with 4:2 on penalties.
photo by Filip Zdraveski: The Academics celebrate with the trophy
Interesting clash today in Skopje in the final of the Macedonian Cup season 2018/19. For the first time we saw a final encounter between one time winners Makedonija GjP and debutantes Akademija Pandev. It was the third final appearance for the popular Lions who previously had won the trophy back in 2006 when they defeated Shkendija with 3:2 thanks to a stoppage time winner, while in 2009 they lost against Rabotnichki after penalties. Bad news for the Lions as their captain Ostoja Stjepanovikj fell sick this morning and had to be dropped from the matchday squad.
The match started with domination by the Lions who had possession but never really made a scoring chance. In the 10th minute they got stunned as Sashko Pandev fired a great and precise 20 meter shot giving keeper Jovanovski no chance. Early lead for the Academics.
In the 17th minute Velinov threatened from the same position from where Pandev scored, but his shot went wide. The equalizer came in the 21st minute when Brazilian international Robinho scored a nice direct free kick goal from the edge of the box.
In the last five minutes before the break the Lions made couple of attempts including another free kick by Robinho, while the Academics tried through Doriev.
The second half started with few rough fouls from both sides, all of them comited in the center of the field. When it comes to chances, Bilali sent a shot wide from close range, while on the other side Doriev forced Jovanovski to make a great save with a shot from distance. Two other chances for the Academy, both from inside the box.
Great opportunity for the Lions in the 78th minute. Carvalho perfectly served Kirovski whose shot passed the keeper but got cleared by a defender.
Six minutes from time Tanturovski sent Makedonija’s fans jubilant as he headed home after a cross from the right by Pecov. Everyone thought that was the winner.
However, shortly after the Academics were awarded a penalty kick. Their standard penalty taker Doriev took the ball and leveled on 2:2.
None managed to add a third in the 5 minute stoppage time so the final went into extra time.
Velinov had a nice shot in the 102nd minute but only passed by the right bar. In the 107th minute great chance on the other side. Bozhinovski sent a great header after a free kick that got nicely saved by Čubraković.
There was no goal in the extra time so penalty kicks had to decide the winner. Robinho and Tanturovski missed for the Lions as Čubraković managed to catch their shots. The Academics were perfect from the spot and therefore brought the trophy to Strumica. First title in the first final for them. Congrats!
Click here to view the match report.
To honor this season’s winners we present you their official anthem:
You can view all 27 finals as well as some basic statistics by clicking here.