After reviewing the performances of First League players, we introduce a list of the best team, complete with both starters and substitutes, during the first half of the season.
Stats such as games played, goals, assists and clean sheets, along with tracking the actual games, determined which players deserved a place in the team. There were tough choices to be made in several positions. The formation that best suited the starters is a 4-3-3 look with two defensive midfielders and one attacking midfielder. That also happens to be a formation occasionally used by most of the teams from the 1.MFL. Keep in mind that players had to play in at least half of the possible games (meaning 9 of 18) to be considered. Furthermore, it was important to take into account a suitable position for each of the starters instead of playing some guys out of position.
Filip Gachevski (Vardar) M17 CS9 GC10 Y1 R0 1530'
Vardar's starting goalkeeper had a great first half-season with just one big blunder. Overall, Gachevski was the most stable goalie of the league.
Boban Grncharov (Vardar) M18 G1 A1 Y3 R0 1620'
Despite being 34 years old Grncharov is probably still the best central defender of the league. He rarely makes mistakes and dominates in many games thanks to his experience and physical presence.
Dean Mitrev (Rabotnichki) M16 G0 A0 Y3 R0 1365'
For years the tall defender is one of the better defenders of the 1.MFL. During the last seasons he played for mediocre teams, thus he wasn't much in the focus. Last summer he moved to Rabotnichki and Dean was able to improve his level in the new and better environment.
Goran Siljanovski (Rabotnichki) M17 G2 A1 Y5 R0 1528'
This season there is a big fight for the title of the best right-back. With Goran Siljanovski, Kristijan Toshevski, Blagoja Todorovski and Vladica Brdarovski even four players deserved a spot in the starting line-up. In the end, we selected Siljanovski, an untiringly player with lots of skills.
Fernando Augusto (Pelister) M16 G1 A5 Y0 R0 1284'
Again a tough decision, this time between two players from South America. Both, Fernando Augusto and Sebastián Herrera Cardona, are left-backs with a big impact in the offense as they are also able to play up front. Eventually, Brazilian international Fernando Augusto won the duel.
Bojan Najdenov (Rabotnichki) M18 G4 A2 Y3 R0 1470'
Like his teammate Mitrev, Najdenov is one more player that needed a move to a better club get more in the focus. Bojan signed for Rabotnichki at the beginning of 2016 and since than he became one of the best footballers in Macedonia. His specialty are shots from the distance, this season he already scored two world class goals from long distance.
Armend Alimi (Shkendija) M18 G4 A6 Y1 R0 1513'
Talking about the best midfielders of the league you always have to mention Alimi. He lacks speed, but apart from this he has a lot of qualities that are worth gold in midfield.
Juan Felipe (Vardar) M18 G4 A2 Y2 R0 1620'
Statistically the Brazilian is not outstanding, nevertheless he is undoubtedly one of the best players. He rarely loses a ball and has also a great vision of the game.
Damir Kojašević (Vardar) M16 G6 A6 Y4 R0 1234'
Not groundless Damir is part of Montenegro's national team. The winger easily gets past his opponents and is always dangerous on the field.
Ferhan Hasani (Shkendija) M18 G10 A5 Y0 R0 1416'
Unfortunately, after the bad injury Ferhan is not on the same level as before, still he is probably the best player of the league.
Besart Ibraimi (Shkendija) M16 G10 A5 Y5 R0 1383'
There was no doubt on this position. Ibraimi is all class in this league. In every game he is a threat for the opposing goalkeeper.
GK Goran Pashovski (Pelister) M15 CS10 GC7 Y3 R0 1350'
Although Pashovski is an experienced goalie he is often shaky, but thanks to his great statistics he deserved a spot on the bench.
GK Nikola Vujanac (Sileks) M18 CS6 GC20 Y2 R0 1620'
Vujanac was signed as replacement for injured Milan Mitrović and right from the start he fulfilled the expectations.
CB Yevheny Novak (Vardar) M13 G1 A1 Y2 R0 1157'
Novak played a good first half-season for Vardar and thus gained a place in the squad.
CB Visar Musliu (Renova) M17 G2 A0 Y5 R0 1485'
Renova's defender is getting better and better and because of that Musliu got attention from the bigger clubs of the league.
RB Kristijan Toshevski (Pelister) M18 G0 A2 Y2 R0 1620'
The 22-year-old right-back had a lot of trouble with injuries over the last couple of years, now he stayed healthy over a longer period and shined after his move to Pelister.
LB Sebastián Herrera Cardona (Rabotnichki) M15 G1 A2 Y3 R0 1287'
The defender from Colombia who also holds the Macedonian citizenship is one of the most talented players in the league. He is very active on the field and always tries to be involved in the offense.
DM Stefan Spirovski (Vardar) M16 G2 A2 Y5 R0 1158'
It seems that Spirovski finally does on the field what was expected from him already years ago. Stephan Vujcic was a big competition on this position, but we voted for Spirovski.
CM Boban Nikolov (Vardar) M17 G4 A5 Y0 R0 947'
Boban is an important player for Vardar and put a nice contribution scoring 4 goals and adding 5 assists. Interestingly, he is one of the most disciplined players having received no bookings so far.
AM Elif Elmas (Rabotnichki) M18 G4 A4 Y5 R0 1477'
Rabotnichki have launched another talent in Elif Elmas and although he was just 16 when the season started, he is already proving he needs to be closely watched in the upcoming period. Kristijan Filipovski from Sileks was another youngster in the race for this spot, but finally we decided that Elmas deserved it more.
RW Stênio Júnior (Shkendija) M18 G4 A7 Y5 R0 1423'
An important offensive all-rounder for Shkendija who is a nightmare for the defenders.
LW Lucas Ferreira (Pelister) 16M G7 A0 Y3 R0 1176'
Although a new player in the league, Lucas Ferreira has been one of the reasons why Pelister is high up on the table after being promoted just this season.
CF Igor Nedeljković (Sileks) M18 G8 A2 Y5 R0 1572'
Nedeljković is already well-known for his scoring abilities and he is proving it yet again this season, although he does score goals from the penalty spot as well.
Legend: M - matches; GC - goals conceded; CS - clean sheets; G - goals; A - assists; Y - yellow cards; R - red cards.
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