U19 EQ: Macedonia advances to Elite Round

Macedonia won against Luxembourg 3:0 at the Petar Miloshevski training center in Skopje to reach the next step of the U19 EURO 2020 qualifications, the Elite Round.

photo by FFM: Macedonia’s players celebrate after a goal

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It was a tough constellation before today’s games as Macedonia needed a victory against Luxembourg and additionally a loss Bosnia and Herzegovina’s against England. Furthermore a lot of goals were necessary as the young Lions had a bad goal difference of minus 5.

Coach Goran Stanikj finally brought David Toshevski in the starting line-up, probably our best footballer of this generation. Rabotnichki’s player was fielded at his usual position centеr-forward, Vosha was the supporting striker, Maksimov and Murati on the wings, Elezi and Dauti in DM, Gjurkovski and Mitrevski our CB’s, while Jankulov and Dimovski played at RB respectively LB. As usual Andov was on goal. Macedonia controlled the game from the first minute, but wasn’t able to create quality chances. In fact Luxembourg had the better opportunities through some counter attacks. We finally opened the score in the 44th minute when Toshevski headed home a cross by captain Elezi. Just two minutes later Vosha doubled the score with a right-footed shot after he received a pass by Jankulov.

Bojan Dimovski (#3) in action; photo: FFM

The second half started with more domination by the Lions, inbetween Stanikj introduced Muharem for Dauti to strengthen the offense, but the next goal happened not until the 80th minute when Murati scored through a header after Jankulov’s cross. At that point England had a 4:1 lead against Bosnia and Herzegovina, that meant that Macedonia was on the second place and thus had  a place in the upcoming Elite Round. A tricky situation as everything would have changed if England conceded a goal or Luxembourg scored one. Macedonia’s players obviously become nervous and Luxembourg started to attack and control the game. Eventually, no more goals in both games and thus Macedonia will take part in the Elite Round that will take place next Spring.

The last time Macedonia’s U19 played in the Elite Round was in 2018, that was the strong generation of players born in 1999 and later with footballers like Elmas, Mitrovski, Churlinov and Atanasov. Now the generation born in 2001 and later will have a chance to make it to the EURO, good luck lads!

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