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Israel - Macedonia 0:1 (Video)

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The celebration after the goal; photo: Gol.mkThe celebration after the goal; photo: Gol.mkThanks to a lone goal by Goran Pandev Macedonia celebrated a very important win against Israel on the road.

Very tough and tactical game, like all previously played against Isarel. But this time, eventually, Macedonia managed to defeat this oponent that was perfect in the head-to-head matches with 4 wins from the 4 encounters.

It was clear that Angelovski will field new players in the central defence positions where Vanche Shikov and Daniel Mojsov used to play. Darko Velkovski was paired with debutant Visar Musliu to make a very unexperienced defense since both of them combined had a total of 5 senior apperances (all of Darko). But that was the idea of Angelovski, to give a chance to the new generation of players.

Israel controlled the game by making a heavy pressure in the opening 15 minutes, but luckily all they did was going around the box. Macedonia scored a goal from its first chance in the 21st minute through Ristevski, but the linesman called for an offside. It was a suspitious situation as Ristevski was in a regular position, but Nestorovski was the one to blame. He tried to head the ball, failed, and the referees decided that he affected the play with his atempt. Ben Chaim fired a good shot in the 26th minute, but Dimitrievski was in place.

Six minutes later Tzedek made a wrong move in the box by heading the ball towards his goal after a cross by Alioski, but luckily for the hosts the ball hit the bar and got cleared. Velkovski has a perfect position to score on a header in the 38th minute, but he did not hit the ball well making it an easy safe for Glazer.

The second half started with home coach Elisha Levy introducing striker Tomer Hemed who scored the first goal in Skopje. Zahavi had a great shot missing the target by very little. Israel was still dominating the possesion, but failed to score.

Eventually the dead lock was broken in the 73rd minute when substitute Elif Elmas perfectly found Pandev in the box who reacted quickly and scored. Huge joy by the visiting players. Somehow it was clear that this goal would be the winner as Israel seemed disorganized and without idea. It is the 30th national team gol for Pandev in his 88th appearance.

One great chance for an equalized had the home players through Hemed, but Dimitrievski one more time reacted well. The game was extended for 5 minutes of injury time, but the Macedonians managed to keep the ball far from their goal and eventually celebrate a win.

Highlights:

The bad run in the games against Israel is finaly over, after 4 defeats Macedonia won. This isthe second win in these qualifiers, both of them on the road. It is now time for a home win, and that can happen on Tuesday when we host Albania in Strumica. Due to a pair of yellow crads, Elif Elmas won't be in combination for this game (he collected one today and one against Spain in June).

To view the match report, click here.

In the other games in our group, Albania recorded an expected win against Liechtenstein with 2:0, while Italy was crushed in Spain with 3:0.

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