Player ratings

Player Ratings: Croatia – Macedonia 1:0

Player ratingsAfter the narrow loss against Croatia in Zagreb, we compiled the player ratings of the Macedonian national team.  We tried to be objective and judge the players based on today’s game.  Keep in mind that a rating of 6.0 is considered average.

Martin Bogatinov: Martin was solid in goal and made the necessary clearances that were required of him.  Not at fault for the lone Croatia goal which came on a header from close range.  Maybe he should have caught some balls instead of punching them after crosses, but overall Bogatinov did a fine job. 7.0

Daniel Georgievski: A couple of opposing players dribbled past him in the opening half but clamped down after the break on a defense that largely held Croatia at bay. 6.5

Vanche Shikov: Another solid performance by Shikov who is quickly becoming one of the key players for Macedonia.  Despite being a defender, it seems Vanche has a chance to score in every game in which he plays.  That was also the case in this match as his header in the 32nd minute beat keeper Stipe Pletikosa but the ball was cleared off the line by Darijo Srna. 7.0

Nikolche Noveski: Similar to Shikov, he did his job effectively as Macedonia kept Croatia quiet for large periods of the game.  On the replay of the Croatia goal, it may seem that Noveski was at fault but it was actually Popov who lost his discipline by leaving Jelavić and attempting to mark Mandzukić who was further away from the goal. 7.0

Goran Popov: Made several of his trademark runs down the left flank but just did not seem to be in sync with the other players.  His brief lapse of discipline allowed Jelavić to be onside near the Macedonian goal and that same player scored the only goal after heading home a headed pass by Mario Mandzukic. 6.0

Muhamed Demiri: The job of the two defensive midfielders was to closely mark Luka Modrić and disrupt Croatia’s rhythm.  That was achieved as Croatia created few chances and the Macedonian midfield, including Demiri, held its own against their counterparts. 6.5

Nikola Gligorov: The same that was said of Demiri can be said about Gligorov.  He put in a workmanlike shift and did what Janevski asked from him. 6.5

Ivan Trichkovski: Appeared lively in the opening 45 minutes by taking on Croatian players and attempting several shots but lost his effectiveness as the game went on.  His fitness is still not where it needs to be after missing several weeks with an injury for his club team. 6.0

Agim Ibraimi: Agim just can’t seem to translate his form with Maribor over to the national team.  Ibraimi had a shot saved comfortably in the 12th minute, and could not create much on the right wing. 5.5

Goran Pandev: Pandev showed his great technique by unleashing a powerful left footed shot just before halftime that rattled of the crossbar.  However, Pandev needed to do more and seemed to let Croatian midfielder Ognjen Vukojević get in his head.  Pandev was visibly frustrated after Vukojević must have committed at least eight fouls alone on him.  That clearly took Goran out of the game, especially in the 2nd half, which should not have happened. 6.0

Stevica Ristic: The biggest disappointment for Macedonia was definitely striker Stevica Ristic.  Stevica was hardly noticeable during his time on the pitch and did not get anything accomplished on offense.  4.0


Dragan Gjorgiev: Came on for the tiring Trichkovski in the 73rd minute.  Did not do much as Croatia was content with the lead and effectively managed to hold on to the ball and prevent serious chances for Macedonia. 5.5

Mirko Ivanovski: Took over for Ristic in the 79th minute but could not provide the spark for the Macedonian attack. 5.5

Darko Tasevski: Replaced the defensive midfielder Nikola Gligorov in the 82nd minute as Macedonia looked for a equalizer.  Did not play enough minutes to qualify for a rating. N/A

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