After 16 years Pelister will feature in a final again and will play against holders Shkendija.
Pelister continues the Cup dream. After the 2:2 draw in Shtip in the first leg, they managed to eliminate Bregalnica with a 1:0 win in Bitola today.
It was a hard game, typically for a return semi-final leg with the rain making it even harder for the players. It was Bregalnica who had to score since Pelister already had a positive road result.
The Green&white buried the hopes of the Blues 10 minutes from time when Ilijoski made a perfect assist to Brazilian international Lucas Cardoso who put the ball behind Kobetić.
It will be the fourth final for Pelister who will be looking for their second title. They won their only title in the 2001 final after beating Sloga Jugomagnat with 2:1. Previously they lost twice,actually the first two finals in independent Macedonia: in 1993 with 1:0 by Vardar, and one year later 4:2 on penalties by Sileks after the game ended 1:1.
Bregalnica fourth time fails to reach the final after getting so close, to the semis. Once again it will be "next year" for the Blues from Shtip.
Pod Tumbe Kafe stadium in Bitola
Pelister: 12. Petrovski (C); 3. Toshevski, 26. Mecinovikj, 16. Kovachev, 13. Fernando Silva (89' 22. Trifunovski); 17. Popzlatanov (46' 11. Petrov), 21. Markoski, 88. Iliev (62' 7. Bozhinovski); 19. Lucas Cardoso, 10. Ilijoski, 77. Fernando Augusto.
Bregalnica: 41. Kobetić; 4. Stojanov, 13. Ilić (56' 7. Georgiev), 15. Leskaroski, 22. Kocev, 16. Miovski (75' 18. Vučetić), 71. Kostadinov (63' 8. Zdravkov), 27. Ristovski, 23. Dalcheski, 19. Velkovski, 11. Naumov (C).
Referee: Dimitar Mechkarovski (Skopje)
Yellow cards: Iliev (P), Miovski (B)
Red cards: /
In the second semi-final Shkendija welcomed Vardar after the 3:1 road win in Skopje. The hosts had a great result from the first leg and were almost finalists, but still, Vardar never gave up.
It was goalless when in the 32nd minute the game was interrupted for 20 minutes. Juan Felipe commited a rough foul on Ennur Totre after which few of the host players reacted. The players of Vardar also came to discuss the matter with captains Ferhan Hasani and Boban Grncharov trying to fight each other, a fight that luckily did not occur thanks to the reaction of the other players. The referee showed them the way to the locker room, but while Grncharov was getting near the tunnel the home fans started throwing thing to him and also some came down on the pitch after which the away players left the field.
Video of the incident:
After the situation was put under control, the game continued. Velkovski scored the much needed goal for Vardar in the 60th minute, meaning that the visitors had half an hour to add a second and turn the score in their favor.
But Shkendija managed to keep the result as it is and with a 1:0 home defeat reached the final. It will be their second consecutive final as they are the holders. As for Pelister, for them as well it will be the fourth in total and they will be looking for the second title as well.
Gradski stadium in Tetovo
Shkendija: 12. Jovanovski; 13. Čeliković, 6. Cuculi, 55. Čolak (72' 33. Polozhani), 77. Todorovski; 8. Totre (7' 87. Međedović), 88. Vujčić, 10. Hasani (C); 18. Stênio Júnior, 7. Ibraimi (61' 5. Alimi), 14. Radeski.
Vardar: 90. Gachevski; 23. Demiri, 21. Novak, 6. Grncharov (C), 77. Brdarovski; 10. Juan Felipe, 16. Gligorov (81' 3. Popov), 14. Velkovski; 9. Blazhevski (46' 89. Balotelli), 11. Brasegyan, 17. Jigauri (46' 10. Kojašević).
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (Skopje)
Yellow cards: Cuculi, Ibraimi, Čolak, Vujčić, Jovanovski, Stênio Júnior, Međedović (S), Juan Felipe, Gligorov, Popov (V)
Red cards: 33' Hasani (S), 33' Grncharov (V)
The Cup final will be played on May 17, but the location is still under question. Originally it was planned to be played at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje, but since the pitch is in bad condition and has to be preserved for the WC qualifier against Spain in June and the UEFA Super Cup game in August, the FFM may move the final to Shtip od Strumica for example.
Semi-finals return legs:
Pelister - Bregalnica 1:0 (0:0); 3:2 agg.
80' Lucas Cardoso
Shkendija - Vardar 0:1 (0:0); 3:2 agg.
60' Darko Velkovski
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