Macedonia ended the series of five defeats in a row in the U21 EURO qualifiers after playing an entertaining draw against Armenia today in Skopje conceding a deep injury time equalizer.
photo: the Macedonians celebrates Atanasov’s goal
Both teams strove for the points with an attacking play right from the beginning. The first attempt was through Gjorgjev who missed the target in the 7th minute. Few minutes later Mitrovski and Manasyan also tried, but their shots ended up wide.
In the 24th minute Jevtoski was brought down at the edge of the visiting box by Avetisyan. Atanasov stepped in to take the free kick and scored a nice goal bringing the lead to Macedonia.
Four minutes later Zdravkovski could have doubled the lead, but he missed the target. The leading goal did not change the game play as both teams continued the same way, attacking. However, none managed to score in the rest of the first half.
Immediately after the break Armenia started pressing for an equalizer. Eventually they did manage to score a goal after the Faroese referee blew a suspicious penalty in the 55the minute. Supposedly, Amanovikj had fouled captain Avetisyan. The same player converted the awarded penalty.
Almost twenty minutes later Macedonia brought back the lead in the same way that they lost it, through a penalty. Hayrapetyan pushed substitute Krstovski in the box and captain Zdravkovski scored with a precise shot.
Mitrovski missed a great chance for 3:1 in the 78th minute when he dribbled past the visiting defense but his shot from inside the box was saved by Avagyan. The same player had another shot saved in the 86th minute when Fazlagikj perfectly served him.
In the 88th minute Churlinov substituted Mitrovski and immediately scored a goal for 3:1. He dribbled past Sargsyan before placing a shot.
Just a minute latter the Armenians came back in game as Amanovikj scored an unlicky own goal when trying to clear Avetisyan’s shot.
Macedonia failed to keep the 3:2 lead because captain Avetsyan sent a precise shot in the third minute of the stoppage time, the ball hit the far post and bounced into the net.
The young Macedonians failed to record the second win in these qualifiers. The only win remains against today’s opponents who we defeated 3:0 away in the opening round. The next chance for a win is surely Gibraltar at home in October.