EQ: Macedonia – Italy 1:1 (Video)

Macedonia shocked Italy again, this time by playing a 1:1 draw thanks to a free kick masterpiece by captain Enis Bardhi.

photo by FFM: a moment into the match

In front of a packed stadium (if we do not count the East stand where only 150 Italian fans showed up) Macedonia and Italy played an entertaining match. Around 28,000 people attended the clash.

Milevski started with Stole Dimitrievski between the posts, in the defense the trio Gjoko Zajkov, Visar Musliu and Jovan Manev, Ezgjan Alioski as left wing back with Stefan Ashkovski as right wing back. In the midfield Jani Atanasov, captain Enis Bardhi and the surprise Agon Elezi, while up front Elif Elmas and Bojan Miovski.

Macedonian starting line-up; photo: FFM

Spalletti opted for the 11 that Italian media revealed earlier today.

Italy took the possession right away. The visitors showed how fired they are for a revenge for the 2022 World Cup play-off defeat in Palermo last year.

After just 3 minutes Barella scored, but the assistant referee ruled his goal for offside. VAR confirmed his decision. Later in the 14th minute Dimarco penetrated into the home defense, but no Italian player was near Dimitrievski’s rebound. A minute later Cristante tried a header, but over the goal.

In 19th minute came the first chance for Macedonia. Alioski from left served Miovski, who’s header went near the right post. Two minutes later Tonali escaped an offside trap, run towards our goal and hit the near post.

The 38th minute was underway when Elmas had a nice 20 meter effort, but Donnarumma was in place. Two minutes later great chance for Italy that ended with Alioski blocking Politano’s shot. In the injury time Miovski had a chance, but his finishing was bad.

On halftime Spalletti decided to make one change: Zaniolo came in taking the place of Politano.

Italy needed just a minute and a half to score after the break. Barella hit the crossbar after a bad header clearance by Manev, the rebound came to Immobile who easily headed home.

The Azzurri new how to kill the play and keep the result in their favor. Elmas had a shot deflected for a corner kick in the 54th minute during a period without chances and many stops for foul play.

Finally a good chance. The 67th minute was going on when Bardhi found space to fire from distance, was brought down, but the French referee let the play continue as Elmas took the ball and sent a great shot missing the target by little.

Milevski changed for the first time in the 74th minute when debutante Alimi came in for Elezi, while Dimoski substituted Ashkovski.

Macedonia deserved to score and eventually it happened in the 81st minute. Bardhi brilliantly took a free kick from left and gave Donnarumma no chances – 1:1.

Italy pushed hard in the closing minutes, but Macedonia defended well and the match ended with both teams taking a point. In the injury time Milevski introduced another debutante in Ahmed Iljazovski.


Macedonia now has 4 points, same as Italy.

Our next match is against Malta away on Tuesday at 20.45 CET.

Match reportย  |ย  Standings

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  1. Pingback: Macedonian Football | An exclusive interview with Ahmed Iljazovski

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