Our U21 national team noted their first win in the Euro 2023 qualifiers.
photo by FFM: Macedonia U21 starting 11 before Faroe Islands match
Kanatlarovski opted to start the Armenia away match with David Denkovski; Adrian Hajdari, Jovan Manev, Mario Mladenovski, Blerton Sheji, Tomche Grozdanovski, Ali Adem, Arbi Vosha, Amel Rustemoski, Filip Antovski, Mario Gjorgievski.
Macedonia U21 were the better team on this match, especially during the first half. Manev had 2 chances in the first half to open the scoreline. One of his shots hit the post, the other was saved by the keeper. The first goal of the match was scored in the 25th minute. Antovski sent a perfect cross from deep right position and Gjorgievski headed it home with a great header. Gjorgievski had another chance in the first half but his shot from inside the box was saved by the opposing keeper.
On the other side, Armenia had 1 shot on target during the first half but Denkovski blocked it.
Kanatlarovski had no reason to make substitutions during the half time break and Macedonia started the second half well. In the 51st minute Vosha sent a low cross from the right side, but Gjorgievski was unable to reach it, while Rustemoski couldn’t control it. 8 minutes later, Rustemoski sent a great through ball for Gjorgievski who dribbled past one player and fired a powerful shot which was blocked by the keeper for a corner kick.
In the 66th minute Kanatlarovski made the first double sub. Ilievski replaced Gjorgievski, while Skenderi entered the fray instead of Vosha. Armenia were trying to break Macedonia’s defense but they were unable to break them down. Instead, in the 82nd minute Kanatlarovski made another double sub with Stankovski and Maksimov entering the match instead of Rustemoski and Antovski. The next minute, it was Stankovski who provided Maksimov with a great ball which he fired it home for doubling the lead. Stankovski could have added another goal in the 86th minute but his shot following a corner kick ended just wide. In the next minute, Denkovski stopped Armenia with their second shot on target, first in the second half.
Near the end, instead of slowly bringing the match to an end, it seemed like Macedonia players thought they had the win. But, Grigoryan stole a ball in the box and lowered to 1:2. Luckily for our team that was the final score despite the 6 minutes of added time and constant Armenia pressure.
This was Macedonia’s first win in the group. They are now on the third place with 5 points from 4 matches. The next matches for the team are in November when they host Ukraine and France.