The eight game of the current qualifications ended in a loss away to Poland. Due to Austria’s win at Slovenia now it’s very unlikely to end this campaign successful, Macedonia has to search the chance in the play offs of the League D.
photo by FFM: Macedonia’s starting line-up prior to the game
Coach Igor Angelovski made one change in the starting line-up compared to the win against Slovenia. Bejtulai, who missed the last match because of a yellow cards suspension, was back in the starting eleven replacing injured Arijan Ademi. Stefan Ristovski remained on the right central back position, while Bejtulai played at right-back.
Poland dominated the game from the first minute and the Lions were not able to organize a good offensive game. Like in the past Macedonia again had a problem to play two good games in a row against quality opponents, obviously most of the players lack the physical ability for such a challenge. The players had a good fighting attitude, but there was not enough precision in the game. Nevertheless, Poland wasn’t able to score in the first half as they didn’t create a lot of quality chances, additionally goalie Dimitrievski had a good appearance.
The second half continued like the first one, a lot of pressure by Poland and Macedonia was more and more insecure with the time running. Inbetween there was a good opportunity by Nestorovski who missed the target with an overhead kick. In the 70th minute Pandev dribbled past some Polish players and was fouled close to the box, but the referee waived move on. Four minutes later it was Frankowski who opened the score for the hosts when he netted with a right-footed shot from close range. An unnecessary goal as the situation was created with a long ball to Lewandowski, but the defense wasn’t able to clear the situation. Just six minutes later Milik doubled the lead with a shot from outside the distance. Macedonia tried to play more offensive. Trajkovski already came off the bench moments before the opener, later Radeski and Stoilov entered the match, but in vain. For Gjorgi Stoilov this was debut appearance.
Now there is nearly now chance for Macedonia to qualify through the group as Austria is 5 points ahead. Even a win at Austria won’t change much because afterwards they host Latvia and it is to expected that Austria will collect three points from that game (so far Latvia lost all seven games in this campaign).