A disappointing result for our U21 in the actual U21 EURO qualifications as Jani Atanasov equalized late to help us grab one point.
photo by Petr Stojanovski/FFM: Macedonia’s starting line up prior to the game
The young Macedonians needed desperately three points from this game to have a chance to be between the five best placed runners up. Coach Blagoja Milevski nevertheless fielded a kind of defensive minded starting eleven as defensive midfielder Grozdanovski started at AMC. Behind him were Atanasov and captain Zdravkovski, in defense Todoroski, Lichina, Stoimenovski and Antovski, Mitrovski and Churlinov were on the wings, while Toshevski was the CF.
The game started slowly without concrete opportunities on both sides, but Israel opened the score in the 21st minute because of a mistake by goalie Jankov after a corner kick.
At the beginning of the second half Macedonia introduced Gjorgjievski and Ilievski, later Miovski, Daci and Fazliu came off the bench. Israel played more defensive trying to keep the lead and Macedonia had a hard time to create chances.
The visitors missed a great chance to double the lead when Mitrovski committed a penalty foul in the 56th minute. Luckily, Jankov saved Almog’s shot.
The equalizer came very late in the 5th minute of stoppage time. Mitrovski was fouled just outside of the box and Hajduk player Atanasov took the following free kick and converted.
In November the young Macedonians have to visit Israel and afterwards play the last game at home against Montenegro. Even if we win the two games the possibility to gain a spot at the upcoming EURO is kind of low. Still the games are important as every point count for a better seeding in the next qualification campaign.