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Shkendija beats Vardar in season opener (Video)

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Todorovski, Bejtulai, scorer Alimi and Cuculi (from left to right) celebrate the opener; photo: KF ShkendijaTodorovski, Bejtulai, scorer Alimi and Cuculi (from left to right) celebrate the opener; photo: KF ShkendijaThe 2017/18 season in the Macedonian top flight started on Saturday. Shkendija beat Vardar in the derby, while Rabotnichki and Renova shared the points. On Sunday, Pelister beat Pobeda in the Pelagonian derby, Akademija Pandev debuted with a point against Shkupi, while Sileks defeated Skopje.

Bad start for title defender Vardar. In the opening round of the new season they visited title rival Shkendija and headed back home with a 2:0 defeat. Shkendija was the better team in this game and created far more dangerous chances. They failed to score in the first half, who by the way, ended goalless, but eventually broke the dead lock after the break.

Armend Alimi scored a beauty in the 61st minute for stadium erruption, while only five minutes later Stênio Júnior doubled the lead. Vardar could not get back in game after those back to back goals and eventually accepted that it wasn't the better side today.

Vardar and Shkendija deliberately moved their game to Saturday as both have Europa League on Thursday, while Rabotnichki for a long time now plays its home game on Saturday.

Gradski stadium in Tetovo
Shkendija - Vardar 2:0 (0:0)
Goals: 61' Armend Alimi, 66' Stênio Júnior
Shkendija: 1. Zahov; 13. Čeliković, 16. Cuculi, 4. Bejtulai, 77. Todorovski; 8. Totre, 5. Alimi; 18. Júnior (80' 19. Bojku), 10. Hasani (c) (90'+3 25. Shefiti), 14. Radeski; 7. Ibraimi (82' 90. Abdurahimi).
Vardar: 90. Gachevski; 23. Demiri, 21. Novak (61' Jigauri), 6. Grncharov (c), 19. Hambardzumyan; 20. Nikolov (70' 33. Iseni), 8. Spirovski; 9. Blazhevski, 70. Juan Felipe, 11. Barseghyan; 18. Kolevski (46' 14. Velkovski).
Referee: Dimitar Mechkarovski (Skopje)

Rabotnichki - Renova at kick-off; photo: Nick SantaskiRabotnichki - Renova at kick-off; photo: Nick Santaski

In the other game played today, Rabotnichki welcomed Renova at the Gjorche Petrov stadium. The game wasn't played at the Philip II Arena in order to keep the field in good condition for Thursday's Europa League play-off match between Vardar and Fenerbahçe.

Both teams failed to score and the game ended by sharing the points. The game was rather boring, without chances and was mostly played in the center of the field as both teams were more thinking not to concede than to score.

Gjorche Petrov stadium in Skopje
Rabotnichki - Renova 0:0
Goals: /
Rabotnichki: 12. Shishkovski; 27. Rašo, 23. Bilali, 5. Sadiki, 6. Herrera; 24. Trajchevski (c), 8. Duranski, 7. S. Sahiti (67’ 17. Kadriu); 11. Velinov, 18. Pogosyan (87’ 14. Miovski), 15. Markoski (82’ 20. Todorov).
Renova: 41. Kobetić; 24. Abdula, 16. Velija (90'+1 7. Sadiki), 5. Kostov, 6. Neziri, 18. Mishkovski; 20. Temelkov, 10. Nuhi (c), 15. Gafuri; 23. Nafiu (57' 8. Jusufi), 19. Petkovski (65' 11. Ramadani).
Referee: Stojanche Stojanov (Shtip)

The rest of the Round 1 games were played on Sunday including the Pelagonian derby between Pobeda and Pelister. The visitors from Bitola claimed the win scoring one goal in each half, while Pobeda only managed to equalize once and from the spot.

Moment of the Pelagonian derby; photo: FK PobedaMoment of the Pelagonian derby; photo: FK Pobeda

Mogila stadium in Prilep
Pobeda - Pelister 1:2 (0:1)

Goals: 51' (pen) Borche Manevski - 24' Ive Trifunovski, 70' Lucas Cardoso
Pobeda: 25. Taleski (c); 2. Ilijovski, 4. Ristevski, 5. Najdovski, 7. Stanić, 22. Cvetanoski, 19. Ilieski (33' 15. Krsteski), 8. Mustafov (73' 9. Geshoski), 16. Nedanoski (46' 17. Asani), 21. Naumoski, 20. Manevski.
Pelister: 12. Jovanovski; 3. Toshevski, 4. Todorovski, 16. Kovachev (c), 7. B. Ljamchevski, 21. Markoski, 30. Peev, 70. Cvetanovski (56' 77. Petrov, 90'+5 17. Popzlatanov), 88. Iliev, 19. Lucas Cardoso, 22. Trifunovski (56' 29' Jadelson).
Referee: Aleksandar Stavrev (Skopje)

First league debutants Akademija Pandev visited Shkupi in Skopje and were close to having a dream start. Wunderkind Ljupcho Doriev brought the lead for the Accademy 13 minutes before the end, but the hosts managed to save a point thanks to a great goal by Demiri in the last minute.

Referee Kachevski helps captains Zendeli and Pandev to decide sides; photo: FC ShkupiReferee Kachevski helps captains Zendeli and Pandev to decide sides; photo: FC Shkupi

Chair stadium in Skopje
Shkupi - Akademija Pandev 1:1 (0:0)

Goals: 90' Husein Demiri - 77' Ljupco Doriev
Shkupi: 1. Zendeli (c), 4. Malikji, 5. Bajrami, 6. Berisha, 22. Taipi (63' 11. Ismailji), 29. Asani (86' 17. Demiri), 16. Krivanjeva, 20. Adem, 18. Zuka, 8. Shabani, 10. Mbela (63' 19. Jasharoski).
Akademija Pandev: 1. Vujanac; 3. Atanaskoski, 4. Dimov, 7. Ivanov, 21. Varelovski, 77. Cheshmedjiev, 8. Stoilov, 10. Atanasov, 14. Doriev (90'+2 9. Mishov), 19. Pandev (c) (60' 20. Markov), 28. Baldovaliev.
Referee: Jovan Kachevski (Struga)

A lone goal scored early in the 10th minute decided the winner in Kratovo where Sileks hosted newcomers Skopje. Newly signed Brazilian striker Antonio Marcos de Oliveira Junior was the hero for the hosts as he scored a really good goal.

Sileks stadium in Kratovo
Sileks - Skopje 1:0 (1:0)

Goals: 10' Antonio Marcos
Sileks: 27. Mitrović; 4. Gucev, 5. Stojchevski, 13. F. Gligorov, 21. Blagojević, 14. G. Gligorov (c) (59' 45. Aleksovski), 23. Filipović, 10. Filipovski, 7. Georgiev, 9. Đorđević (72' 24. Bujchevski), 11. Antonio Marcos (90' 55. Mickov).
Skopje: 1. Kandikyan; 2. Uzhevski, 3. Gjorgjievski (35' 10. Desnikj), 5. Velkoski, 16. Pecov, 6. Lichina, 18. Mishevski, 7. Kolekjeski (c), 17. Demir (59' 14. Gjurchinovski), 8. Aleksovski, 11. Janevski (75' 4. Noveski).
Referee: Marjan Gocevski (Strumica)

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