U21: Armenia – Macedonia 0:3 (Video)

End of the first halfIn the first game of the new U21 qualifications the young Lions started with an impressive win away to Armenia.

After the successful last cycle the expectations were big and everyone was waiting for the first game of the new guys. Coach Blagoja Milevski fielded his usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Ilikj on goal and Popzlatanov, Cheshmedjiev, Amanovikj and Simovski in defense, while Kuleski and Totre started in defensive midfield. Elmas, who after the yellow card suspension was moved back from the senior national team, opened in attacking midfield. Captain Kostadinov, a player who is also able to play in midfield, started on the right wing and Georgiev on the left, while Selmani played at centre-forward.

Macedonia's starting line-up

Macedonia started with high pressing from the first minute and Armenia had trouble to come out of their half. The pressure resulted with our opener after just eight minutes. Elmas stole the ball from an opponent and passed to Kostadinov who finished from inside the box. Macedonia’s second goal came only 16 minutes later when a header by Simovski luckily found Kostadinov who netted his second goal with a left-footed shot. From then the game slowed down a little bit. Macedonia had no need to hurry, while Armenia wasn’t able to do more. At the start of the second half Armenia made two substitutions and played more aggressive, nevertheless the young Lions controled the game. In the 72nd minute Tihomir Kostadinov headed home the last goal of the game after a well taken free-kick by Totre. During the second half Milevski made three substitutions, he introduced Abaz, Zdravkovski and Petkovski for Georgiev, Kostadinov and Selmani.

Highlights of the game:

Summarized, this was a really big game of the new generation and they should gain more confidence after this match. Milevski was once again able to build a team, it was obvious that the players had a good chemistry and fought for each other from the first to the last minute.The biggest weakness was the stamina as several players plainly slowed down the last 20-30 minutes, but unfortunately this is something normal because a lot of the players are not under contract in strong leagues. Our next game is the home encounter on 6th October against Serbia, a country that always has quality in the youth categories, thus it will be for sure a bigger challenge for our team.

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