Macedonia U21

U21: Serbia – Macedonia 5:1

Macedonia U21Macedonia U21 needed 3 points in the match against Serbia U21 but instead suffered a heavy defeat to finish in third place of the group.

Was it the pressure of being so close to qualifying for a major tournament or was Serbia simply better then Macedonia?  In the end, Macedonia U21 failed to achieve its goal and went down in a convincing fashion by losing 5:1 to their Serbian counterparts on the road.

Serbia took the lead early in the match when through Mudrinski in the 10th minute.  Defender Goran Bogdanovikj could have equalized several minutes later but his effort went just wide.  At this point, Denmark already had a commanding lead against Northern Ireland in the other match so when Milunović doubled Serbia’s lead in the 39th minute, the chances seemed lost for Macedonia.

The second half started better for Macedonia U21 as they created several good chances, but none of them reached the back of the opponent’s net.  Fazli, in particular, stood out but the attacker squandered a good opportunity.  Just as it seemed that Macedonia could get back into the game, Serbia utilized a quick counter attack, the ball got to Jojić who noticed keeper Stole Dimitrievski was of his line so he lobbed a shot for a 3:0 lead.  Three minutes later, the same player added one more goal as Macedonia’s defense was caught napping.  Fazli did manage to score a consolation goal in the 77th minute after Tairi’s shot was initially saved by Aleksić but the ball reached Fazli who dribbled past one player before reaching the right hand corner.  Serbia then added a fifth goal through Malbašić who showed the fastest reaction after Dimitrievski originally saved the shot by Jojić. 

The defense had a tough day and the defeat was ultimately deserving.  Macedonia was outplayed by Serbia and will have to settle for a third place finish.  That is not a bad result at all and the U21 team has sent some players over to the senior squad which is a sign of the development of those young players.  Macedonia U21 scored in every match of this qualifications tournament, but Serbia and Denmark will occupy the top two places of the group.

Mladost Stadium in Kruševac
Referee: Oliver Drachta (Austria)

Serbia: Aleksić; Medojević, Gudelj, Rodić, Mudrinski (70′ Kojić), Krističić, Marković (63′ Jojić), Pantić, Milunović, Milivojević, Ninković (46′ Malbašić).
Macedonia: Dimitrievski; Ristevski, Bogdanovikj, An. Stankov, Trajkovski, Husmani (46′ Tairi), Fazli, Babunski,
Ranđelović, Najdovski (46′ Ashkovski), Spirovski (71′ Al. Stankov).

Goalscorers: Mudrinski 10′, Milunović 39′, Jojić 67′, 70′, Malbašić 81′ (S) – Fazli 77′ (M)
Yellow cards: Ninković
, Milunović, Rodić, Jojić (S) – Babunski
Red cards: Babunski 90’+5 (M)


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