The young Macedonian recorded the seventh defeat in the 2019 EURO qualifiers this time by losing away to Russia who is fighting for a play-off spot.
photo by RFS: Akhmetov steal the ball from Manevski and scores the opener
Unlike that entertaining match in Skopje played in March when Russia won with 4:3 thanks to a goal scored in the fourth minute of the injury time, Ilievski fielder only keeper Risto Jankov, midfielder Davor Zdravkovski and winger Nikola Gjorgjev today. Of course, back than Macedonia was lead by another coach, Blagoja Milevski.
The host team made unnecessary political provocation before the kick-off when Russian captain gave a match flag to our captain in which instead of Macedonia or even the official FIFA name FYR Macedonia it was written the insulting acronym FYROM. We don’t understand why the Russian decided to do this on a U21 football match.
In the 14th minute the home players broke the dead lock. Bakaev tried a shot which was saved by Jankov, visiting defender Manevski caught the rebounded ball but while trying to clear it failed to get past Akhmetov who stole the ball and sent it behind the goal line.
Just four minutes latter the young Russians doubled the lead. This time they made a great combination shaking the Macedonian defense to the maximum ending with Chalov scoring a goal.
Two minutes before the half-time break the same player that scored the winner deep into the stoppage time on the first match in Skopje scored for 3:0. Of course, that is Zelimkhan Bakayev.
After the break Russia just confirmed the win. Konovalov found Oblyakov from a free kick, the later perfectly escaped an offside trap and scored the fourth goal past Jankov. Oblyakov is another player that also scored in Skopje.
In the 74th minute Macedonia scored a consolation goal through Krstovski on an assist by debutante Trajcheski.
However, the home team got back to a four goals advantage thanks to a goal by Melkadze in the stoppage time. That goal eventually sealed the result.
Now remains only one round for these qualifiers to be concluded. On Tuesday Macedonia will host Gibraltar and try to end this unsuccessful campaign with a win.