Macedonia recorded the necessary win over Luxembourg but failed to reach the Elite Round as Croatia won a point against Czechia by scoring a very late equalizer.
photo: Luxembourg takes a throw in during the first half
The snow on the field made the playing conditions difficult for both sides. Also, a red ball had to be used. The young Macedonians were a bit better in the opening 45 minutes, although the Luxembourgian counterpart showed unexpected skills and made few chances. Despite being already eliminated, Luxembourg wanted to win the first points in this game. Macedonia had to win, but also had to rely on the other match as Czechia had to beat Croatia in order for the Lynx to advance into the Elite Round.
In the 19th minute Fazlagikj assisted to Australia-born Taleski who broke the dead lock bringing Macedonia the much needed lead. Meanwhile Croatia took the lead against Czechia meaning that Macedonia would now have to score at least one more goal and also hope that the tournament hosts would turn around the result.
At half-time coach Goran Stankovski decided to give a chance to the reserve keeper Timevski after Jakimovski played in all matches so far.
At the other match Czechia turned around the score against Croatia taking a 2:1 lead. Now Macedonia needed one more goal that eventually came in the 72nd minute. Fazlagikj made a fantastic solo run at the edge of the box that ended with a great shot.
In the last minutes of the match Luxembourg pressed to score a goal. Naumcheski collected his second yellow card and headed into the showers in the 89th minute. Johansson took a free kick and came close to scoring as his shot hit the crossbar. In the fist minute of the injury time Held also got sent off for a pair of yellow cards after preventing a dangerous counter attack by Gjorgjievski.
At that moment bad news arrived from the other match. Croatia managed to equalize in the 89th minute and therefore denied the Macedonians a place in the Elite Round. Macedonia got eliminated.
After the final whistle an incident occurred after several players from both sides tried to fight each other but luckily everyone else intervened.
Hanácká Slavia stadium in Kroměříž
Luxembourg – Macedonia 0:2 (0:1)
Goals: 19′ Alex Taleski, 72′ Enis Fazlagikj
Luxembourg: 1. Youn Czekanowicz; 3. Tun Held, 4. Kevin D’Anzico (C), 5. Seid Korac, 15. Loris Bernardy (84′ 9. Nuno Vilar Rodrigues); 7. Lucas Coopmans, 8. Dylan Kuete, 6. Alexandre Sacras (63′ 18. Magnus Hardahl Hansen), 11. Yannick Schaus (64′ 10. Clayton Duarte); 13. Mathias Olesen, 20. Ryan Johansson.
Macedonia: 12. Stefan Jakimovski (46′ 1. Bojan Timevski); 3. Filip Antovski, 4. Stefan Simonovski, 5. Stefan Naumcheski, 2. Zoran Ivanovski; 8. Darko Churlinov, 10. Alex Taleski (69′ 19. Muharem Suhejlj), 18. Enis Fazlagikj, 11. Jakup Berisha (69′ 17. Marko Gjorgjievski); 20. Besnik Ferati, 9. Bojan Kolevski (C) (79′ 6. Anes Osmanoski).
Yellow cards: Schaus, Held, Held (L), Ferati, Simonovski, Naumcheski, Churlinov, Fazlagikj, Osmanoski, Naumcheski (M)
Red cards: 90’+1 Tun Held (L), 89′ Stefan Naumcheski (M)
Referee: Nicolas Laforge
Assistants: Florian Lemaire & Adam Horák
Fourth official: Ondřej Pechanec