Metalurg opened their European campaign with a 2:2 draw away to Birkirkara in Malta.
Unlike Renova, Metalurg began the first round of Europa League qualifications with a draw. Metalurg managed to play a 2:2 draw in Malta against Birkirkara.
The match started great for Metalurg as Ilija Nestorovski opened the scoring early in the 2nd minute, when he capitalized on an assist by Blagoja Ljamchevski. That proved to be the lone goal in the first half as Metalurg went into halftime with the slim 0:1 lead.
In the second half, Birkirkara pushed forward looking for a goal and achieved that in the 53rd minute when Jorge Santos leveled the score at 1:1. However, just two minutes later, Cvetan Churlinov gave Metalurg the lead once again with the assist coming from Blagoja Ljamchevski, just as the first goal.
Metalurg could not hold on to the lead and conceded the equalizer in the 87th minute for a final score of 2:2. The good thing for Metalurg is they scored two away goals in the draw, and that could prove key with the away goals advantage. The club from Skopje will be favored to advance when the return leg takes place in 7 days. If Metalurg goes through, they will face Ruch Chorzor from Poland in the second qualifying round with the two legs scheduled for the 19th and 26th of July, respectively.
Video of the goals:
Birkirkara – Metalurg 2:2
Referee: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL)
Birkirkara: Gauci, Rodrigo Pereira, Vukanac, Fenech, Camenzulli, Zerafa, Muscat, Scicluna (89′ Zammit), Shodiya, Jorge Santos, Dos Reis (77′ Triganza)
Metalurg: Pavlović, Kralevski, Petkovski, P. Ljamchevski (52′ Tenekedjiev), B. Ljamchevski, Dimoski, Krstev, Stevanović, Nestorovski (65′ Naumovski), Churlinov (81′ Peev), Alomerovikj
Goalscorers: Jorge Santos 53′, Triganza 87′ (B) – Nestorovski 2′, Churlinov 55′ (M)
Yellow cards: Zerafa, Scicluna (B) – Pavlović, Dimoski, Stevanović, Nestorovski (M)