Shkendija is officially the winner of the Macedonian top flight season 2017/18 after they defeated major rivals Vardar in a road game in Skopje. Pelister and Pobeda played a great Derby of Pelagonia that ended in sharing the points. Late winner gave Renova a win over Rabotnichki, Akademija Pandev continued the long winless run, while Skopje and Sileks played a draw.
photo by KF Shkendija: players and staff celebrate after the game
In a season in which the Tetovo based club dominated, they confirmed the title in the best possible way, officially winning it with a road game against fierce rivals Vardar. Both teams gave chance to some reserve players such as keepers Igor Aleksovski and Bekim Redjepi. Vardar even had a new manager on the bench in the name of Boban Babunski, although officially it is still Chede Janevski despite not leading the team.
After just six minutes top goalscorer Besart Ibraimi announced the win. Vardar equalized just before the break when Dejan Blazhevski perfectly found youngster Bojan Kolevski in the box who headed the ball, Redjepi saved his shot but Kolevski than scored on the rebound.
The second half started with a quick penalty for the home side as Mevlan Murati played with hand in the box. Blazhevski successfully converted the penalty bringing Vardar the lead.
But that lead lasted for only five minutes. First Ibraimi equalized directly from a free kick, while in the 59th minute Visar Musliu intercepted a shot from Stênio Júnior and scored from five meters. The score remained unchanged and the visiting players jumped into celebration after the final whistle.
The locker room celebration:
It is the second league title for Shkendija. They won their first in the 2010/11 season. With the first place Shkendija also booked a place in the qualifications for the UEFA Champions League.
National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje
Vardar – Shkendija 2:3 (1:1)
Goals: 43′ Bojan Kolevski, 47′ (pen) Dejan Blazhevski – 6′, 52′ Besart Ibraimi, 59′ Visar Musliu
Referee: Igor Stojchevski (Skopje)
Pelister and Pobeda played an exiting Pelagonian derby in Bitola. It was like a final match for avoiding relegation since it had huge importance for both.
After a goalless first half, but with many chances, Pobeda broke the dead lock in the 59th minute. From the denter of the field Jordancho Naumoski sent a through ball to Zoran Danoski who with a perfect lob beat home keeper Ilche Petrovski.
Shock for the home crowd came in the 67th minute when the referee pointed on the spot awarding Poneda with a penalty kick. Home defender Hristijan Dragarski brought down Daniel Karcheski when he was just about to fire a shot. However, Blagoja Geshoski’s shot went over the goal and the score remained 0:1.
Pelister eventually scored an equalized in the 83rd minute after a corner kick. Blagojche Konjarski tried a header but the ball got blocked by the visiting defense, however on the rebound reached Ive Trifunovski who had no troubles to score on empty net.
Pod Tumbe Kafe stadium in Bitola
Pelister – Pobeda : (0:0)
Goals: 83′ Ive Trifunovski – 59′ Zoran Danoski
Referee: Dejan Jakimovski (Skopje)
Akademija Pandev remains winlless for 13 matches in a row! Today it was Shkupi that celebrated a road win thanks to the goals of Shabani and Ilijoski scored in a six minutes span before the break. The academy pulled one back in the dying moments of the first half when Baldovaliev converted a penalty kick. Since that moment Shkupi was downed to ten men as Ljamchevski got a direct red card for causing the penalty.
The home side failed to equalize in goals in the second half, but managed to do that in red cards as their player Cheshmedjiev collected a second yellow twelve minutes from time.
Kukush stadium in Turnovo
Akademija Pandev – Shkupi 1:2 (1:2)
Goals: 45’+2 (pen) Zoranh Baldovaliev – 33′ Bunjamin Shabani, 38′ Bazhe Ilijoski
Red cards: 78′ Konstantin Cheshmedjiev (AP), 45′ Blagoja Ljamchevski (Sh)
Referee: Faton Mustafi (Tetovo)
Rabotnichki recorded the first defeat after managed Gjore Jovanovski took over. An unlucky own goal by Montenegrin U21 national team defender Momčilo Rašo gave the home side the lead after eleven minutes. Renova was maintaining that lead until four minutes before the end when Sharkoski levelled. In the second minute of the injury time Stojanovski scored a winner bringing Renova the points.
This win not just that sent Renova away from the relegation zone, but it got closer to the Europa League spot that is currently held by today’s rivals Rabotnichki.
Gradski stadium in Tetovo
Renova – Rabotnichki 2:1 (1:0)
Goals: 11′ (og) Momčilo Rašo, 90’+2 Vlatko Stojanovski – 86′ Nikolche Sharkoski
Referee: Jovan Kachevski (Struga)
Skopje hosted Sileks in Kichevo due to the stadium ban that they received by FFM. Gligorov brought the lead for the visitors after sixteen minutes of play, while Skopje equalized through Petkovski ten minutes after the break. Both goals were scored by the two captains.
Gradski stadium in Kichevo
Skopje – Sileks 1:1 (0:1)
Goals: 55′ Filip Petkovski – 16′ Gligor Gligorov
Referee: Dimitar Mechkarovski (Skopje)