Players’ thoughts on Finland draw

The statements of Enis Bardhi, Stefan Ristovski, Lukáš Hrádecký and Sauli Väisänen after yesterday’s goalless draw between Macedonia and Finland, plus the thoughts of both coaches.

photo by FFM: moment of the game


Enis Bardhi (Macedonia attacking midfielder): “We had good moments and better chances than Finland. We lacked a stronger physical play against this opponent. We faced a corpulent team that mostly played with long balls, a style that isn’t our favorite. When you play against such a team it is had to get close to their box. We have to try to be stronger in duels, but we also have to get more playing time in our clubs. I think we got close to a win. We are full of confidence and we know what we have to do on the field. What need to improve is the physical form.”

Sauli Väisänen (Finland central defender): “When the team doesn’t concede, the defenders are happy. It’s always a good thing. On the other hand, we failed to score and win. We didn’t control the ball well, there were too many easy mistakes. However, it is a positive thing that we conceded zero goals and we continued with our good lossless run.”

Stefan Ristovski (Macedonia right wing back): “Some players do not play for their clubs in this period, while others are in great form. Finland is a quality team with good individual players and it was obvious that were better physically prepared than us. We had chances, they had chances, so the final score of 0:0 is actually very realistic. We have to work on some issues that we saw as flaws in order to prepare for the future. It was a tough match for both sides, but it is not in the past for us as we have to now focus on Azerbaijan.”

Lukáš Hrádecký (Finland keeper): “Our game play was slow, simply the game was not as it should have been. We accepted that kind of tempo and than we could not any gaps. That happens when the whole doesn’t run enough. Anyway, at least we did not lose, but the pity is that it was not possible win it.” He also commented the best chance for Macedonia when he blocked Ademi’s shot: “I have often trained such situations. When I got close on him I was pretty sure that he won’t score. Luckily I got it right. I am satisfied with my performance at this match.”

Igor Angelovski (Macedonia coach): “We gave it a try. We had a great chance through Ademi, they had it through Lod. When you see it together, the draw is the right outcome. I am satisfied of how the lads played and I can now focus on Azerbaijan. I tried to give a chance to all players, depending on their current form. I am sure that we will be better prepared on our next gathering. Bardhi, Velkovski and all others played well. Anyway, we will try to be better against Azerbaijan, a game that we all wish to win.” He mentioned Enis Bardhi and Darko Velkovski as currently both aren’t playing for their clubs.

Markku Kanerva (Finland coach): “The quality of the Macedonian team was known to us and in my opinion they showed it in this game. It is a tricky opponent. The game was even and the goalless draw was probably the right outcome. They had some opportunities, so we had some. There were errors and easily lost balls on both sides. They got dangerously close to our box a couple of times, but our defense was quite well in defending the box. The attacking was a bit modest. I honestly expected more scoring chances. Macedonia made the game difficult with their pressing, that’s why the game lacked chances.”

Both teams stay in Turkey as on Monday Finland will play against Malta, while on Tuesday Macedonia will face Azerbaijan.

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