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Macedonian Cup final: Rabotnichki - Renova 1:3

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Renova edged Rabotnichki in the Macedonian Cup finalRenova edged Rabotnichki in the Macedonian Cup finalFor the first time in its club history, Renova won the Macedonian Cup and as a result, the club will take part in next season's UEFA Europa League qualifications.

Renova celebrated a 1:3 win in the 20th Macedonian Cup Final!  In an evenly played match, which was an absolute must win for both teams if they wanted to partake in the UEFA Europa League next season, Renova came out on top and won its first ever cup trophy. 

In Shtip, where around 500 people watched the cup final, the match started slowly with both teams not wanting to make a mistake early on.  Rabotnichki's manager Robert Pevnik had to substitute attacker Aleksandar Pandovski in the 11th minute after he suffered an injury and was unable  to continue.  A minute later, Renova took the lead after Gafuri's corner kick was headed home by Muharem Bajrami who outjumped his opponent before sending the ball to the back of the net.

In the 20th minute, Fisnik Nuhiu could have doubled the lead for Renova but his shot barely missed the empty net, after the Rabotnicki keeper Damjan Shishkovski did not intercept the cross from the right side.  The match then entered a slow phase with Renova playing defensive football, and Rabotnicki not creating many chances.

The last five minutes of the first half were lively and both teams created several chances.  First, Goran Siljanovski of Renova unleashed a shot from 20 meters but his effort went wide of Rabotnichki's goal.  Rabotnicki then attempted to threaten Zendeli's goal with several quick counter attacks but none of them resulted in anything resembling a goal.  Blagoja Todorovski tried to surprise Zendeli with a long distance shot but the veteran keeper did not have any problems.  On the other end, Marjan Andonov barely missed a cross from the left side and Shishkovski managed to easily catch the ball.  Just before half-time, Rabotnichki's captain Borche Manevski attempted two shots, with the latter being more threatening, but both ended up going off-target.

Renova threatened first in the second half with Boban Janchevski's shot from just outside of the box, but Shishkovski parried the shot and it resulted in a corner.  Rabotnicki then scored the equalizer a couple of minutes later when Todorovski dribbled past several players on the right side before sending an enticing cross in the box which was headed home by Manevski to tie the game at 1:1.

In the subsequent period, Rabotnicki was the better team but Renova managed to take the lead once again.  Dushan Simovski received a great through ball and managed to lob a shot over Shishkovski, who rushed to get the ball but could not get their before his opponent. 

The tempo of the match then slowed down, with Renova playing defensive and containing the Rabotnichki attack.  Youngster Darko Velkovski attempted a long distance shot but his effort caused no problems for Zendeli.  In the last ten minutes of the match, Rabotnichki pushed forward, looking for the equalizer, but a goal was scored by Renova to put the game away.  Gafuri, who was active throughout the match, scored the third Renova goal in the 90th minute to complete the 1:3 scoreline.

Thus, Renova joined Vardar, Sileks, Sloga Jugomagnat, Pelister, Pobeda, Cementarnica 55, Bashkimi, Makedonija Gjorche Petrov, Teteks and Metalurg as teams who have won the Macedonian Cup.  As a result of winning the domestic cup trophy, Renova will participate in the UEFA Europa League qualifications for next season.

Gradski stadium in Shtip, 500 spectators.

Referee: Goran Spirkoski (Prilep)

Goals: 53' Borche Manevski - 12' Muharem Bajrami, 65' Dushan Simovski, 90' Ardžent Gafuri.

Rabotnichki: Shishkovski; Brdarovski, Pandovski (11' Gjorgjievski), Vasilev, Živković; Despotovski, Todorovski, Velkovski (78' Denkovski); Manevski, Velkoski, Angelov (46' Stupić)

Renova: Zendeli; Velija (90' Fetai), Simovski (69' Asani), Stepanovski, Ristov; Bajrami, Siljanovski, Gafuri, Nuhiu; Janchevski (57' Ismaili), Andonov.

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