Macedonia failed to win and played only 0:0 at home with Norway in the qualifications for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Many chances weren’t converted into goals, but at least there was a good play by the midfielders, something that in the past matches was the worst part of our team.
Macedonia started very offensively in the first 15 minutes and had the possecion in the first half. In the second, the Norwegians played better in the defense, but yet Macedonia had more of the chances. Goran Pandev had a few chances but failed to shot to Knudsen’s goal. The biggest chances for Macedonia were the ones by Stojkov in the 8th minute and the even greater, when Ristić got a ball in the box and tried attractively to score, but instead the ball he kicked one of the guests’ head. Norway could have also taken the three points if Nikoloski didn’t save magically the chance that John Carew had in the 39th minute when he dribbled two Macedonians and found himself one on one with Nikoloski.
Mirsad Jonuz, the successor of Srečko Katanec brought many new changes. New formation, attacking play and new players. Filip Despotovski had his debut and played great, was one of the most active on the field and will surelly be called in the future too. Boban Grncarov got a chance to play from the start as he was always a bench warmer under Katanec. Slavco Georgievski, the played who had a raw with Katanec, also played from the beggining.Althought many didn’t expect too see Aco Stojkov on the field, he got a chance and prooved that he deserves a chance too. Agron Memedi, one of the 4 newbies, was on the bench but didn’t come in. The Italian referee didn’t had much work. Only two yellow cards were shown and both to the Norwegians (B. Riise and Hangeland).
You can view the match report here.
Macedonia’s next game is this Wednesday against Iceland at home. The match will start at 17.45 CET at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje.