Half-season completed

 18 rounds of Macedonian first football league have passed. There have been some great matches and also some very boring ones. There have been some results that were known even before a game was started and there have been some results that were pretty much 'enforced'. All in all, nothing new in Macedonia.

The first thing worth metnioning and congratulating is the invincibility of Rabotnicki, at least so far. In 18 games, they haven't tasted the bitter side of a game. The rock-solid defense has only conceded 5 goals, and no there hasn't been 2 keepers on goal. This team is simply too good(comparing to other teams) currently, and most deservedly is topping the table with 10 points advantage over Milano. And while we are at Milano, they are definitely the team that is mostly discussed in front of local groceries. Living something similar to Scottish Gretna's dream they are second placed after promoting from second league, where they've promoted from third. And yes, this team doesn't like waiting at all and after only couple of years existence, they are heading fast and direct towards Europe. Maybe a thing the politicians should learn from this club.
Currently third on the table, the all-time best club in Macedonia – Vardar. They are looking too friendly this season with 9 draws out of 18 games. However, it hasn't always been friendly round them through the season, and only in the last round against Renova 3 players have been literally beaten by unsatisfied fans, and READ CAREFULLY – by a member of the institution that is supposed to care for the security – Police. Possibly their biggest rival Pelister is breathing in their neck. The team from Bitola is lying on fourth position and is looking good, finally. Playing some excellent games at home, giving their best away from home, of course if the hosts doesn't decide that the half-time is a time for fighting and reconsolidating. Having Husein as a coach, and the Brazilian Junior in the squad this team looks like it has been born again, and apparently lot should been done if someone is to stop them from catching a Euro-Cups spot.
Champions Pobeda's season hasn't begun in best way. Having stolen the title last season, and by stolen I do mean stolen, they should have been counted as one of the bigger favorites for a new success. But, things haven't begun in best way. It wasn't until Gesoski returned and Manevski signed a contract that things started looking better for the team from Prilep. They are now sharing the 4th spot with their neighbours from Bitola. This will definitely be one close race. And we have another team that might wanna add something to that. Dzepciste's pride Renova are on the 6th spot and closing the group with better performances in the Autumn season. Though they counted as one of the teams that should fight for the top 3 places before the beginning, they had a rather slow start. Maybe after Sokoli took over they started 'flying' higher on the table.
Makedonija Gjorche Petrov, our intertoto represent this season, sadly is not anymore in the top 6 teams. At least on the standings. However, they have a team rather consisting of talented youngsters that are certainly holding bright future. Furthermore, they are qualified for the semifinal of the cup, and there is still hope for another very succesful season of this team with long tradition.
And here come the teams that will not have a peaceful hibernation. Napredok is opening that group. It is probably their solid games in front of their fans, that have earned them an ammount of points that is starting with 2. Truly, together with Sileks they are looking safer than the other teams but nothing is yet decided, and we are sure to see many, many excitments. Sileks have started a good season, but slowly started to slid down the table as a water down the gutter. Maybe it is realistic considering the objectively weaker team comparing to the opponents from the first part of the table.
Though many have beleived that is Shkendija destiny's to go in the lower-quality group of teams for the next season, the new sponsor didn't think so. After getting Shakiri and Emurlahu back in the squad, Shkendija together with their fans, who are for congratulating considering they are by far in biggest number on every Shkendija's game in Tetovo comparing to the other supporters and their teams, managed to escape the last two places. However, a black-spot on this thing is the incident that happened on the game against the till-then friendly team Pelister.
Cementarnica and Bashkimi are the teams that are certainly not having easy rest. Cementarnica only managed to escape the last place in the last round where they've won over their rivals – Bashkimi. Honestly, if something crucial doesn't change in these teams it is most probably they will swap places with the best teams from second division. A thing that must be said about Bashkimi is their fair-play having received the lowest number of yellow cards so far.
And that is how things stand so far. We've had couple of fights on, around, outside the pitches, we've seen games in impossible for play conditions, we've seen some extraordinary goals, we've seen quality, and we've seen potential. Now, nothing is left but to wait till March 2008 and the new beginning. Let's wish good luck to all teams for the remaining second part.

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