Macedonia remained undefeated after the second round of the 2020 EURO qualifiers, having played a 1:1 draw against Slovenia in Ljubljana.
photo by FFM: the Macedonians celebrate Bardhi’s equalizer.
Head coach Igor Angelovski made two changes from the starting lineup of the game against Latvia 3 days earlier: injured Ferhan Hasni was replaced by Elif Elmas, whereas Aleksandar Trajkovski was replaced by Egzon Bejtulai, having added a third center-back in the defense on the cost of a forward to change the 4-4-2 formation into 3-5-2.
Both teams started very active and eager to play, which lead to some tension and sparks on the field that resulted in 5 yellow cards being shown in the first 20 minutes. Macedonia kept trying to attack and create chances but so was Slovenia and it was the hosts who took the lead in the 34th minute through a header from Zajc after a nice assist from Šporar.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Bardhi also found himself in a great chance to score after a great assist from Elmas, but his shot went wide over the goal.
The first halftime ended with the 1:0 lead for the hosts, but it took Macedonia only 2 minutes in the second half to equalize and get back in the game. Alioski stole the ball on the left handside and broke a counter attack, he made a pass towards the center of the penalty box that reached Bardhi who had no difficulties to score this time.
In the 55th minute, Slovenia almost scored a second goal when the Slovenian attackers managed to pass goalie Dimitrievski, but Bejtulai made a huge save that left Macedonia in the 1:1 tie.
In the last 10 minutes, the hosts seemed to be pushing really hard to score a winning goal, but the Macedonian team managed to defend well, leading the game to end in a draw. The Slovenian fans seemed to be disappointed of the outcome, whereas the Macedonian fans (who came to Ljubljana in a large number from the nearby countries) seemed to be happy with the draw and the solid performance shown on the field. The tie also seemed to be the objective outcome according to the chances and play that both teams showed during the game.
Click here to view the match report.
Macedonia’s next challenge in the 2020 Euro Qualifiers is the table leaders Poland. The match will be played on 7th of June in Skopje.