Macedonia suffered a heavy home defeat to Austria and hurt its chances for finish among the top two places that lead at the 2020 EURO.
photo by Filip Zdraveski: moment of the match
Despite an early lead in the game, Macedonia suffered a heavy home defeat to Austria and hurt badly their chances for a top two finish. Angelovski opted for a 4-4-2 formation, changing the 3-5-2 from the previous match. Four central midfield players were fielded in Bardhi, Elmas, Nikolov and Ademi. The later was the only one who didn’t start against Poland Friday as today he filled in for suspended Musliu.
The match started in Austria’s favor with two big chances early for them, but it was Macedonia who took the lead. Alioski sent a long cross and what seemed like an easy intercept by Hinteregger, turned out to be a lucky, opening goal for Macedonia.
However, Austria did not give up and went on to create more chances. Pandev had a nice chance in the 31st minute to double the lead, but his shot went wide and eight minutes later Austria equalized through Lazaro.
Right before half-time Austria’s finishing skills were put to question again as they missed another opportunity and later the hosts tried to win penalty on two occasions but the referee shook his head.
In the second half it was all about the visitors. Angelovski made two changes, shifting back to a 3-5-2 when he brought on Ristevski instead of Elmas, but the team was unable to stop Austria. Bejtulai made a very bad foul in the box giving Austria a clear penalty which was perfectly converted by Arnautović.
Instead of a wake-up call for Macedonia, Austria created even more chances. Macedonia had a shy attempt through Bardhi from a free kick but his shot was blocked by the wall. In the final fifteen minutes of the match Austria’s physical superiority was visible and the team went on to score 2 more goals. First, it was Arnautović who scored on a close-range header and then Bejtulai was late to block a cross, so he deflected the ball into his own net for a disastrous game all-around by the team.
Click here to view the match report.
Macedonia’s next games are in September with both being on the road, against Israel and Latvia.