In the first half both teams had some attempts on the goals especially Christopher Morrow and David Rainey for the home team and Bobi Bozinovski for the visitors.
The second half was more entertaining as all the events happened than. Three yellow and two red cars, a penalty, two goals and more active play.
In the 47th minute, Dusan Savić assisted to Bobi Bozinovski whos shot from 13 meters found it’s way into Chris Keenan’s net. Than there was some rough play by both teams, especially by the home players. In the 68th minute, Colin Coates elbowed Dusan Savić and was shown a direct red card by the Israeli referee. Seemed like Rabotnicki could score more, but instead Crusaders managed to avoid defeat. In the 87th minute the referee wrongly whistley for penalty and showed another direct red card, this time for Rabotnicki’s keeper Kristijan Naumovski for fouling Jordan Owens in the box. Rabotnicki’s manager Zoran Stratev was also shown the red card for protesting and he had to watch the final moments from the stands. Reserve keeper Martin Bogatinov failed to save the penalty as there was no need for that since Martin Donnelly hit the crossbar. But, in the next attack Donnelly’s cross found David Rainey who tied with a header for final 1:1.
Stadium: Mourneview Park in Lurgan
Referee: Asaf Kenan (Israel)
Assistants: Shabtai Nahmias and Ezra Bason (Israel)
Goals: 1-0 B. Bozinovski 47′, 1-1 Rainey 90′
Crusaders: Keenan, McKeown, McBride, Magowan, Coates, McCann, Doherty (74′ Black), Dickson, Rainey, Donnelly, Morrow (63′ Owens).
Manager: Harry Megaw
Rabotnicki: Naumovski, Ristov, Sekuloski, Bojović, B. Bozinovski, Muarem (70′ Carlos Roberto), Savić, Todorovski, Gligorov, V. Bozinovski, Wandeir.
Manager: Zoran Stratev
Yellow cards: B. Bozinovski 54′, Wandeir 60′, Keenan 63′.
Red cards: Coates 68′, Naumovski 87′, Stratev 88′.
The second leg will be played on 23 June 2009 at 17.00 CET in Skopje, at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon.