Vardar could not even score a single goal and ended early the European adventure with another defeat by the Armenian side of Pyunik who this time won with two late goals.
photo by FC Pyunik: Moment into the first half
After the surprising departure of manager Boban Babunski couple of days ago, Vardar today was lead by his assistant Aleksandar Vasoski, a well known former Macedonian national team defender. But even he could not help the team perform better than the first leg in Armenia where Pyunik celebrated a lone goal victory.
Throughout the entire match the red and black players could not create serious threats towards the visiting goal. The Armenians came to defend in Skopje and successfully closed the path towards their box. Vardar did score a goal in the 20th minute through Maksim Kaksimov, but the assistant referee intervened and the goal was ruled out as the ball had previously went behind the goal-out line.
On half-time Pyunik had to field their reserve keeper as the first choice Kobozev could not continue due to an injury. Even that did not help the Macedonians. The Vardar players were desperately moving around the Armenian box lacking ideas and creativity.
In the last 5 minutes Pyunik even managed to score twice and claim the win. Bissau-Guinean substitute Bacar Baldé scored a brace with both goals coming on counter attacks.
After reaching the Europa League group stage last season, Vardar now farewells Europe in the very first round. Interestingly, Pyunik remains a nightmare team for the Macedonian clubs as Vardar is the third side that gets eliminated by them after Pobeda in 2004 and Teteks in 2013.
National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje
Vardar – Pyunik 0:2 (0:0); 0:3 agg.
Goals: 85′, 89′ Bacar Baldé
Vardar: 90. Gachevski (C); 77. Brdarovski (87′ 23. Najdovski), 4. Manev, 21. Novak, 2. Toshevski; 8. Micevski, 5. Bitang; 50. Berisha (46′ 7. Lira), 11. Barseghyan, 24. Popzlatanov (71′ 33. Iseni); 9. Maksimov.
Pyunik: 31. Kobozev (46′ 25. Dragojević); 2. Grigoryan, 66. Zhestokov, 33. Kadio, 27. Dmitriev; 15. Trusevych (62′ 19. Stezhko), 30. Hayrapetyan; 23. Voynov, 9. Koryan (C) (70′ 24. Baldé), 18. Arakelyan; 11. Konaté.
Yellow cards: Barseghyan (V), Grigoryan, Stezhko, Baldé (P)
Red cards: /
Referee: Ian McNabb
Assistants: Stephen Bell & Ryan Kelsey
Fourth official: Thomas Anthony Clarke