Macedonian dreams for the World Cup 2010 were freezed tonight on Iceland. Macedonia outplayed Iceland, but failed to convert the chances in goals. The 103rd FIFA ranked team used their chance and won the three points.
Only 5500 home fans supported Iceland today, but the ice cold weather in Reykjavik was bigger support for the home team. The weather and the suspension for striker Ilco Naumoski now will be the excuse for the defeat by the 103rd ranked team. Coach Srečko Katanec before the match said that Macedonia will go for the win because every other outcome will mean end for our qualification dreams and during the rest of the qualifications we will play just a support role with the other teams. Not just that we didn't win, but we didn't win a single point.
Our dreams fell a part in the 16th minute. Free kick for Iceland from the left side and a mess in our box. Captain Sedloski makes a mistake and dives to block the ball with his head and misses it. The ball ended in Gunnarsson's legs who didn't find it hard to put it in our net.
Ilco Naumoski, the regular forward in the Macedonian squad and the scorer on the match against Scotland was suspended on this match. The coach Srečko Katanec decided to strengthen the midfield and played with Tasevski, an extra midfielder and a modification in the squad. This modification didn't proved to be the best choice as the midfield didn't function well in the first half. Tasevski and Pandev had their chances during the first 45 minutes, but no serious threat on the Icelandic goal.
Katanec made few changes in the second half. Trajanov strengthened the midfield and Stojkov refreshed the attack. Ristic substituted Tasevski towards the end of the match for strengthening the attack, but nothing helped. Macedonia played a lot better in the second half. Dominated in Icelandic half, created too many chances, but failed to score. Grozdanoski, Tasevski, Maznov, Trajanov, Ristic, Stojkov… all threatened on the opponent's goal. Macedonian biggest star Goran Pandev had the biggest chance on the match, something like he never misses for Lazio. In the 76th minute he broke through alone, passed even goalkeeper Gunnleifsson, but the ball finished in Hreidarsson's leg, instead of the Icelandic net.
After three played matches, Macedonia is back on the "eternal" 4th place of the Group 9. Five more matches are still to be played and the chances for there are still chances for the World Cup, but after the match today it's more than clear that Macedonian players will not be applying for visas for South Africa in 2010.
Iceland – Macedonia 1:0 (1:0)
16' Veigar Pall Gunnarsson
Iceland: Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson, Birkir Saevarsson, Indridi Sigurdsson, Kristjan Sigurdsson, Stefan Gislason, Gretar Steinsson, Hermann Hreidarsson, Brynjar Gunnarsson (Aron Gunnarsson, 26), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Theodor Bjarnason, 81), Veigar Pall Gunnarsson (Palmi Palmason, 65), Emil Hallfredsson.
Macedonia; Petar Milosevski, Vlade Lazarevski, Nikolce Noveski, Robert Petrov (Vanco Trajanov, 52), Goce Sedloski, Igor Mitreski, Darko Tasevski (Stevica Ristic, 79), Vlatko Grozdanoski, Velice Sumulikoski, Goran Maznov (Aco Stojkov, 61), Goran Pandev.
Referee: Selcuk Dereli (Turkey)