1.MFL season 16/17 ends with Round 36 (Video)

11 historical titles of Vardar, including the one back in Yugoslavia; photo: FK VardarAll games of the last round were without importance as everything was already settled: Vardar is champion, Shkendija, Rabotnichki and Pelister qualified to Europa League, Shkupi will enter the relegation play-off, while Bregalnica and Makedonija GjP got relegated.

Eventually the 2016/17 season ended in the Macedonian top flight. The last round was played today but did not bring anything new as all the games were more like a training matches since everything that had to be settled was done in the previous rounds. So the teams could experiment with the squads, test new tactics and give young players a chance.

Vardar, who won its 10th title, hosted Sileks at the Gjorche Petrov stadium since the Philip II Arena is kept for the national team. It was a title celebration match, but also the farewell game of Vlatko Grozdanoski, the 34-year-old midfielder who did great in the past for both Vardar and the national team. He played 144 games for Vardar and 50 for Macedonia. He also made an impact while playing with Omonia on Cyprus winning the Cup and Super Cup, each on one occasion. With Vardar he celebrated 4 league titles. Vardar failed to beat Sileks in this game that ended goalless.

Grozdanoski received these gifts priot to the kick-off; photo: FK Vardar

Relegated Bregalnica managed to say goodbye to the first league in great
style, beating Rabotnichki with 6:2. However, it has to be underlined
that the visitors had many young players on the pitch. Pobeda ended the 5
games winning run with a home defeat by Renova, while Shkendija had a
consolation win over Pelister after they lost the Cup final.

Highlights Vardar – Sileks & title celebration:

Highlights Shkendija – Pelister:

What is important is that many of the U21 players called up (on both lists) yesterday by coach Blagoja Milevski were on the pitch today. Boban Georgiev celebrated a hat-trick, Remzifaik Selmani scored a brace, while Benjamin Demir found the back of the net once. All 3 are in the U21 next generation squad. From the same list, starters today also were Celeski, Cheshmedjiev, Zdravkovski, Alomerovikj, Cvetanovski (Makedonija), Popzlatanov (Pelister), Kostov (Bregalnica), Krivanjeva (Shkupi), Totre (Shkendija), Filipovski (Sileks) and Petkovski (Vardar). Mircheski (Pelister) came in on half-time, Sadiki (Rabotnichki) stayed on the bench, while Elmas (Rabotnichki) wasn’t in the matchday squad as he is currently training with the senior national team. From the EURO squad starters were Aleksovski, Velkovski, Demiri, Nikolov (Vardar), Musliu (Renova) and Murati (Shkendija), Shishkovski (Rabotnichki) was on the bench, while Bejtulai, Radeski (Shkendija) and Markoski (Rabotnichki) were given a rest.

Here are the final standings for this season:

1.MFL 2016/17 final standings

Champions & Champions League qualifications: Vardar
Europa League qualifications: Pelister (cup winner), Shkendija and Rabotnichki
Relegation play-off: Shkupi
Relegation to Second league East: Bregalnica
Relegation to Second league West: Makedonija GjP

Top goalscorers:

20 – Besart Ibraimi (Shkendija)
13 – Igor Nedeljković (Sileks)
12 – Lucas Cardoso (Pelister), Ferhan Hasani (Shkendija), Alen Jasharoski (Makedonija GjP)
11 – Dejan Blazhevski, Jonathan Baletelli (Vardar), Stojancho Velinov (Renova), Goran Zdravkov (Bregalnica)

Round 36 results:

Bregalnica – Rabotnichki 6:2 (2:1)
10′, 21′, 71′ Boban Georgiev, 50′, 62′ Goran Zdravkov, 53′ Slavcho Velkovski – 5′ Benjamin Demir, 90′ Filip Ivanovski

Pobeda – Renova 0:3 (0:2)
22′, 42′ Remzifail Selmani, 77′ (pen) Medjit Neziri

Shkendija – Pelister 3:1 (0:1)
52′, 54′ Shpend Asani, 78′ Victor Juffo – 10′ Bazhe Ilijoski

Shkupi – Makedonija GjP 1:1 (1:1)
40′ Bejtula Avdulai – 34′ Alen Jasharoski

Vardar – Sileks 0:0

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