Macedonia played a better half and deserved the two goal lead thanks to Bardhi and Elmas. However, after the break Ukraine was better and scored three times to claim the win.
photo by MacedonianFootball
Macedonia started with Stole Dimitrievski on goal, Ezgjan Alioski as right back, Visar Musliu and Gjoko Zajkov as CBs, captain Stefan Ristovski as left back, Arijan Ademi DM, Enis Bardhi and Elif Elmas CM, Aleksandar Trajkovski on the right wing, Stefan Ashkovski on the left wing and Ilija Nestorovski as lone attacker. On Macedonia’s bench was Robert Stojanovski, Blagoja Milevski’s assistant, as our coach was red carded in the opening qualifier against Malta.
The match started in rainy weather. In the opening minutes both teams shared the possession. Macedonia tried more and after half an hour won a penalty kick. After a corner kick a Ukrainian player played with hand in the box, but the referee did not intervene. However, VAR did its job and summoned him to watch. The Swiss ref had to award Macedonia a penalty which was converted by Bardhi.
Later in the 39th minute Elmas decided to fire a shot from the left, some 25 meters from goal, aiming at the far top angle of the goal and managed to score, surprising the inexperienced keeper Trubin.
At halftime visiting coach Rebrov brought two new players in Vanat and Konoplia.
Ukraine took the ball after the break, not allowing Macedonia to play actively. Understandably, as they were chasing two goal lead. In the 62nd minute they managed to score for 2:1 when Zabarnyi netter home.
Shortly after that the Macedonians left Konoplya alone on the far post and he easily scored past Dimitrievski. A cheap goal given away by Macedonia.
The 72nd minute was underway when Muslim made a necessary tackle to prevent a counter attack, which resulted in a second yellow for him and a red card. Macedonia was downed to 10 men.
A defensive carelessness in the 83rd minute allowed Tsygankov to score a winner for Ukraine, who after losing 2:0 managed to get back and win 2:3.