U21 qualifier: Israel – Macedonia 2:1

In a match played on a neutral venue in Cyprus, Israel U21 defeated its Macedonian counterparts once again by winning 2:1 on Tuesday.

As was the case last month, when Israel U21 defeated Macedonia U21 3:0 in Skopje, the Israeli squad notched another win today in the final round of the 2015 U21 EURO qualifications.  Israel fielded an older squad made of mostly players born in 1992, while Macedonia started players born in 1994, 1995 and even 1996.  Macedonia U21 was already eliminated, so they have already started planning for the next qualifications.

Israel U21 scored the opening goal in the 25th minute thanks to Dor Mikha.  Israel had several more opportunities to extend the lead heading into the half-time break, but keeper Dejan Iliev made several good interventions to keep the score close.

Early in the 2nd half, Rabotnichki’s Taulant Sulejmanov (who will move to Swiss club Young Boys this upcoming January) leveled the score with a good finish past the opposing keeper.  However, that tie only lasted for six minutes before Israel was awarded a penalty.  Defender Visar Musliu was whistled for an infraction inside the area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.  Munas Dabbur converted the penalty which proved to be the game winner in Israel’s 2:1 triumph.

Macedonia U21 finished in last place of Group 8 with just 4 points.  From eight games, Macedonia notched just one win and had a negative goal difference of -9.  Their lone win came against Azerbaijan U21. To see the final standings, click here.

Lineup: Iliev, Ristovski, Zajkov, Musliu, Timovski, Nikolov, Imeri (61′ Ivanov), Asani (45′ Mustafov), Avramovski (79′ Bojku), Sulejmanov, Nafiu.

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