Macedonia furiously went through Armenia to continue the battle for the 2nd place and a play-off for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
photo by FFM: Enis Bardhi celebrates in Yerevan
Despite the many problem with injured players and coach Blagoja Milevski had to over come, plus the yellow card suspension of captain Stefan Ristovski, his team played a match to remember tonight in Yerevan. He fielded Dimitrievski between the posts, Alioski, Musliu, Velkovski and Ashkovski in the back line, Elmas, Kostadinov and Bardhi in midfield, Trajkovski and Churlinov as wingers and Milan Ritovski up front.
Right at the beginning it could be seen that something isn’t right in the home team. Macedonia easily was winning possession and controlling the game. Milevski definitely outplayed Caparros, just as he did in September in Skopje when the match ended goalless.
With Stefan absent, Milevski decided to give the captains armband to Bardhi, who for the first time had the honor to wear it in the national team. At the end he definitely had a match to remember.
Ashkovski took a throw inn in the 22nd minute, gave the ball to Ristovski who immediately passed him back. Then, Ashkovski went pass several home players and managed to serve Trajkovski in the small box who made a simple tap in to break the dead lock.
Ten minutes later Barseghyan fired a good shot, but just near the post.
In the 36th minute Bardi fired a low shot from the edge of the box after Elmas saw that he was left alone, beat Yurchenko and made it 0:2.
Bardhi found himself in good scoring position in the 65th minute when Hambardzumyan brought him down for a penalty kick. Until now Alioski was the taker, but Bardhi took the ball and beat the home keeper making it 0:3.
At this point Armenia was in knockout. It was clear that Macedonia would take the points.
The 79th minute was underway when the visiting players made a quick counter attack resulting in Elmas serving Ristovski for the fourth goal.
Meanwhile Todor Todoroski and Jani Atanasov were among the players that came from the bench, but these two recorded their debut appearances.
For the victory to be greater than anyone expected came the second penalty. This time Terteryan fouled Alioski and Bardhi again took charge. This time Yurchenko was very close to deny him, but the ball went in for a final score of 0:5.
The other two matches in our group are scheduled for tonight at 20:45: Romania – Iceland and Germany – Liechtenstein.
Facts regarding this match:
- 19th goal for Aleksandar Trajkovski
- 12th match against Armenia, more that any other opponent
- 9th goal for Enis Bardhi
- 5th player to score a hat-trick is Enis Bardhi
- 2nd goal for Milan Ristovski
- 2nd biggest win overall (together with two other matches)
- 1st cap for Todor Todoroski and Jani Atanasov
- 1st match as captain for Enis Bardhi