Noveski (#4) celebrates his goal; photo: amazonaws.com

2014 WC qualifications: Scotland – Macedonia 1:1

Noveski (#4) celebrates his goal; photo: amazonaws.comMacedonia opened with a positive start and took the deserving lead in the 11th minute but a defensive mistake just before halftime allowed Scotland to tie the game for a final result of 1:1.

Manager Chedomir Janevski made one change to the Macedonian squad that faced Croatia on 7 September by starting Mirko Ivanovski instead of Stevica Ristic as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.  Macedonia opened brightly and took the lead in the 11th minute through Nikolche Noveski.  Ivan Trichkovski took a short corner, the ball would eventually reach Demiri who made a good pass back to Trichkovski whose low cross towards goal was sent to the back of the net by Noveski.  Macedonia was the much better team at this stage of the game and you could hear Makedonija chants from the crowd while the Scottish fans were booing the performance of their team.  Agim Ibraimi should have made it 2:0 in the 30th minute after receiving a great pass by Pandev but his effort from a good position was saved by the Scotland keeper.  Macedonia seemed to be in absolute control but a defensive mistake by Vanche Shikov just before halftime allowed Scotland to score an easy equalizer.  Shikov’s clearance was poor and the ball eventually reached an opposing player who then passed the ball to Kenny Miller for an easy goal from close range.

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In the 37th minute, Ivan Trichkovski suffered a hamstring injury and was substituted by Ferhan Hasani.

The 2nd half opened tense as neither side wanted to concede a quick goal after the break.  The first chance didn’t come until after 10 minutes when a strike by Hasani hit the post.  For Scotland, their first real opportunity of the half came in the 68th minute when a quickly taken free kick saw substitute Jordan Rhodes send a header just wide of the right goal post.  Four minutes later, Pandev again sent a great through ball, this time to Ivanovski, but Mirko’s shot was also saved by the Scottish keeper.  It was a very similar chance to the one by Ibraimi in the 1st half, also created by Pandev.  Scotland, however, was the more aggressive side to finish the game as the Macedonian players started to tire.  Scotland was desperate to score a game winner and pushed forward with the support of their home fans but the score would remain 1:1 at the end of regulation and each side will settle for a point.

Click here to see the match report.

Game highlights:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=-rwkBRfdjfQ

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