After 10 months delay, Macedonia finally completed the away match against Faroe Islands and scored a narrow 1:2 win to climb second in the Group 6 standings.
photo: The starting 11 posing for a photo before the start of the match
The encounter against Faroe Islands was originally scheduled to be played in November 2019. However, due to bad weather conditions the match had to be postponed for March 2020. Nonetheless, that did not work out either as all football matches that month got cancelled by UEFA due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, on the third scheduled date the game was finally held.
Coach Blagoja Milevski made only one change in the starting lineup from the last qualifier played 5 days prior against Spain. Suspended midfielder Davor Zdravkovski got replaced by Erdon Daci, whereas the other 10 remained the same: Risto Jankov started on the goal, the defense line was consisted of Filip Antovski, Agron Rufati, Nikola Serafimov and Todor Todoroski, the two internationals from Slovakia Tomche Grodzanovski and Enis Fazlagikj played in the midfield, whereas Darko Churlinov, Dimitar Mitrovski, Erdon Daci made the offensive midfield before Milan Ristovski as a lone striker.
The game started well for the young lions as they maintained control and had the initiative during the first halftime, which resulted in a leading goal already after 16 minutes when Erdon Daci made a nice pass from the left wing towards the centre, reaching Milan Ristovski who scored a nice goal, second one for him in these qualifiers.
However, things started getting shaky after the halftime break. The hosts went forward and started pushing for an equalizer. The Faroe Islands started getting more and more dangerous as time passed, but then in the 81st minute, their goalkeeper made a poor mistake giving the ball away to the opponents while being away from the goal, and substitute Kristijan Ackovski did not miss this chance to make it 2:0.
And just when it seemed that this two goals lead has secured the 3 points, only 4 minutes later the hosts got back in the game by lowering down to 2:1 and ensuring that there will still be tension in the last minutes of the match. However Macedonia managed to protect their lead until the final whistle and ended up reaching their goal, winning 3 the game and adding another 3 points on their tally as they fight for the second position in the group.
Currently, Macedonia (with a game less) is now tied with Kazakhstan on the second position, whereas the big rival Israel is also right behind with them with 2 points less. In the last 2 months of the qualifiers, Macedonia meets Kazakhstan away where they will be looking to revenge for the 1:1 draw in Skopje, and then face Israel twice, first at home in October and then away in November, and at last they finish the qualifying tournament with an encounter against Montenegro away.