Bojan Vručina before scoring the first goal of the match, photo:

Europa League: Shkendija – Zimbru 2:1 (Video)

Bojan Vručina before scoring the first goal of the match, photo: kfshkendija.comShkendija have celebrated a 2:1 win over Zimbru in the first leg of the first qualifying round of UEFA Europa League.

Shkendija have managed to note their first European win – a win which does not guarantee them a place in the next round by any means.

After a rather uneventful first 30 minutes of the match in which Shkendija seemed like slightly the better opponent, the home team pushed higher up and created a couple of chances before half-time. First, Polozhani tried to find Vručina in the box but the latter was just a bit late. However, before half-time, Vručina scored a beautiful goal directly from free-kick and gave his team a much wanted lead.

In the second half, things went even better for the home team. Their new signing Mitrov has doubled the lead after a strong shot from outside the box. However, just couple of minutes later, Murati fouled Dedov in the box and Belgian referee Jonathan Lardot pointed to the penalty spot. Grossu successfully converted the penalty and gave his team a vital away goal.

In the rest of the match, Shkendija tried to score a third goal, but they failed to do so. In the second leg, Shkendija will certainly have a tougher task but they do hold an advantage. Should they manage to overcome Zimbru, they will face CSKA Sofia in the second qualifying round.

Game highlights:

National Arena Philip II of Macedon in Skopje
Macedonia Shkendija – Zimbru Moldova 2:1 (1:0)
Scorers: 45′ Vručina, 47′ Mitrov – 50 Grossu
Shkendija: Jovanovski; Bejtuai, Murati, Berisha (33′ Kavdanski), Miliev, Selmani (51′ Kurtishi), Polozhani, Stênio Júnior (81′ Fazliu), Mitrov, Huseini, Vručina.
Zimbru: Rusu; Erhan, Pavlyuchek, Vremea, Jardan, Bogdan, Dedov (53′ Paşcenco), Klimovich, Cheptine (73′ Anton), Amani (81′ Damașcan), Grossu.
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (Belgium)
Yellow cards: Berisha, Mitrov (S), Pavlyuchek, Amani (Z)
Red cards: /

The next leg is scheduled for 10th of July and will be played on Zimbru Stadium in Chișinău, Moldova. Kick-off time is set for 19.00 CET.

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