With a huge 5:0 win in Skopje, Shkendija already booked a place in the second qualifying round of the Champions League leaving the Welsh champion no chance in the return leg.
photo by KF Shkendija: the players celebrate one of the goals
In front of nearly 3.000 fans, Shkendija clinched a huge win over The New Saints in the first leg of their match up. The kick-off at 20.15 CET was only 15 minutes after the kick-off of the World Cup semi-final between France and Belgium which resulted into 90% empty seats in the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje. Shkendija is by far the most stadium visited team in the past several season in Macedonia, but even they could not match the World Cup.
The hero for the Tetovo based club was none else by the top goalscorer Besart Ibraimi who managed to put 4 goals past the visiting keeper. The goals galore started in the 14th minute when Izair Emini broke the dead lock after an action between Ibraimi and Radeski. Ibrami scored his first in the 38th minute thanks to an assist by captain Alimi who perfectly found him in the visiting box. With the score of 2:0 the teams went on the half-time break.
Only eight minute into the second half and Ibraimi scored his second for a 3:0 lead using the bad positioning of the TNS keeper. Seven minutes later Besart scored again. And in the 66th minute yet again! In a span of just 14 minutes he managed to score three goals! The goal for 4:0 was a direct free kick goal, while the last was probably the most beautiful. Emini passed the ball to Ibraimi who fired a shot from around 20 meters and scored.
National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje
Shkendija – The New Saints 5:0 (2:0)
Goals: 14′ Izair Emini, 38′, 53′, 60′, 66′ Besart Ibraimi
Shkendija: 1. Zahov; 16. Murati, 33. Adili, 6. Musliu, 4. Bejtulai; 27. Taipi (81′ 17. Zejnulai), 5. Alimi (C); 18. Stênio Júnior, 20. Emini (83′ 9. Selmani), 14. Radeski; 7. Ibraimi (75′ 11. Shefiti).
The New Saints: 1. Harrison (C); 3. Marriott, 5. Cabango, 12. Hudson, 2. Spender (73′ 22. Lewis); 8. Brobbell, 4. Holland, 17. Ebbe (65′ 21. Byrne); 10. Redmond (68′ 23. Edwards), 6. Routledge; 14. Mullan.
Yellow cards: Stênio Júnior (Sh), Routledge (TNS)
Red cards: /
Referee: Timotheos Christofi
Assistants: Michael Soteriou & Charlambos Georgiou
Fourth official: Chrysovalantis Theouli
Now Shkendija need to play the return leg, although it is clear that it will only be a formality. It will be played next Tuesday with a kick-off at 20.00 CET. In the second round Shkendija will face the winner of the match up between the champions of Georgia and Moldova. In their first leg, Torpedo beat Sheriff with 2:1.