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Vardar reaches Europa League group stage! (Video)

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Darko Velkovski between Roman Neustädter and Nabil Dirar; photo: FK VardarDarko Velkovski between Roman Neustädter and Nabil Dirar; photo: FK VardarFantastic and historical achievement for Vardar tonigfht in Istanbul! They even beat Fenerbahçe in the return leg and reached the group stage of the Europa League, something that no Macedonian club has ever done!

FINALLY! EVENTUALLY! A Macedonian club will play European football in autumn! Vardar has written history after they managed to eliminate Turkish giant Fenerbahçe, beating them in both legs.

After the lucky 2:0 win in Skopje last Thursday, Vardar today faced huge presure right from the kick-off in Istanbul. But Fenerbahçe mostly attacked around the box with only few real chances. And when they could find the way to Vardar's goal, there was Filip Gachevski to deny a goal. Vardar had one great chance when Barseghyan's shot hit the bar.

Vardar's defence was broken from a corner kick in the 61st minute when Russian defender Roman Neustädter was at the right place in the right time and easily scored the much needed first goal.

The starting eleven; photo: FK VardarThe starting eleven; photo: FK VardarThat goal scould have given wings to the home players, but Vardar remained confident. Janevski immediately introduced central defender Visar Musliu instead of winger Dejan Blazhevski, opting for a defense with 5 players.

Just seven minutes later Vardar managed to equalize. Georgian attacker Jigauri somehow managed to bounce the ball in the net after a collision with keeper Kameni and a defender. It was Felipe who made a great pass to him, Jigauri then dribbled one defender anmd before firing a shot he was surprised by a second home players. Luckily for him he reached the ball with a sliding tackle. What really happened isn't clear since Kameni and another Fenerbahçe player also slided on the ball.

With that goal Fenerbahçe now had to score three more in order to qualify. That was a mission impossible and Vardar started playing much better, without the previous presure which resulted in creating more and more chances.

After few misses, substitute Nikola Gligorov scored a winning goal in the injury time after an assist by Barseghyan who few minutes earlier hit the cross bar.

Şükrü Saracoğlu stadium in Istanbul
Fenerbahçe - Vardar 1:2 (0:0); 1:4 agg.
Goals: 61' Roman Neustädter - 68' Jambul Jigauri, 90'+1 Nikola Gligorov
Fenerbahçe: 18. Kameni; 6. Köybaşı, 37. Škrtel, 33. Neustädter, 4. Isla; 28. Valbuena, 5. Topal (c) (75' 39. Köse), 8. Tufan, 17. Dirar; 10. van Persie (58' 99. Soldado), 7. Potuk (44' 92. Chahechouhe).
Vardar: 90. Gachevski; 77. Brdarovski, 14. Velkovski (73' 16. Gligorov), 21. Novak, 19. Hambardzumyan; 8. Spirovski, 20. Nikolov; 9. Blazhevski (c) (62' 5. Musliu), 70. Juan Felipe, 7. Jigauri (84' 10. Kojašević); 11. Barseghyan.
Referee: Daniel Stefański (POL)

Vardar will now take part in the group stage draw which is schedulled for tomorrow at 13.00 CET in Monaco. Obviously they will be placed in the last pot, but that is not important. What is important is that Vardar will play 6 more Europa League games. History has been written!

The dressing room celebration:

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