EL: Shkendija – Neftçi 1:0 (Video)

Moments after Ibraimi's shot; photo: lajmi.net Shkendija made club history as they moved forward to the third round of the Europa League qualifications.

The first leg ended in a goalless draw away to Neftçi, thus Shkendija had to be very careful in the return leg. The side from Tetovo accomplished the mission by scoring one and simultaneously stopping the opponents offense.

Shkendija started the match with the same line-up like in the previous three games of this competition. Already in the 2nd minute the home team had the first chance, but Stênio Júnior’s shot was not good enough to beat Neftçi’s goalie. The game was equal as Neftçi also had some good chances, however, it was Shkendija who opened the score in the 31st minute. Marjan Radeski made a pass to Blagoja Todorovski and the latter found close to the penalty point Besart Ibraimi who finished with a right footed shot. Ferhan Hasani also played a part as he was able to intercept Todorovski’s pass, but Hasani made a smart move when he let the ball through for Ibraimi. Neftçi had several chances throughout the game, but all efforts were in vain. Eventually, the mission was easier for Shkendija from the 72nd minute when Macedonia’s national team member Vanche Shikov received his second yellow card of the game for a foul against Todorovski.

Next Thursday Shkendija will host Czech side Mladá Boleslav in the first leg of the third round. Probably a more difficult opponent compared to Neftçi, but after the last two rounds it is clear that the opportunity to advance to the Play-offs, the last round before the group stages, is not small.

Highlights (the goal is at 2:40):

National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje
Referee: Erik Lambrechts (Belgium)
Shkendija – Neftçi 1:0
Shkendija: Zahov, Todorovski, Bejtualai, Cuculi, Demiri, Alimi (90+4′ Victor Juffo), Vujcic, Radeski, Hasani (C) (90+2′ Taipi), Stênio Júnior, Ibraimi (87′ Polozhani)
Goalscorer: 31′ Besart Ibraimi

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