Austria is slow to win against North Macedonia – –

Austria is slow to win against North Macedonia – –

Austria struck twice late to ensure North Macedonia’s debut in a major tournament ended in a 3-1 defeat to Romania.
Igor Angelovski’s team broke new ground by qualifying for Euro 2020 after a play-off victory against Georgia last November.

And, after finishing behind Stefan Lainer’s impressive goal, North Macedonia equalized in the first half when 37-year-old striker Goran Pandev became the second oldest goalscorer in the European Championship.

But, as they did twice in qualifying, they fell against the Austrians, who claimed their first Euro victory thanks to the efforts of second-half substitutes Michael Gregoritsch and Marko Arnautovic.

Lainer scored in his country’s 2-1 win over North Macedonia last November and only needed 18 minutes to haunt them again with a nice finish.

The right-back moved to the far post and, after clocking his race to perfection, took a volley from the pierced center of Marcel Sabitzer.

Austria nearly doubled their advantage soon after, but unmarked Sasa Kalajdzic stabbed Sabitzer’s cross straight to Stole Dimitrievski.

But, as Franco Foda’s side looked set to dominate, North Macedonia fought back in the 27th minute via star man Pandev, who had knocked out the play-off winner against Georgia.

The former Inter Milan player scored another important goal for his country, his 38th, by tapping an empty net after goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann rushed over and failed to come together amid confusion defensive.

Aleksandar Trajkovski appeared lucky to only receive a yellow card after appearing to nudge Aleksandar Dragovic in an aerial challenge.

Bachmann made amends for his previous mistake by diving at the feet of Boban Nikolov to refuse the full back after an exquisite pass from Eljif Elmas opened up the Austrian defense.

Dimitrievsky then came to the rescue of his team on the other end, diving completely to prevent Gregoritsch’s clever header.

But the forward was not deprived with 12 minutes remaining, taking the advantage over Dimitrievski to push David Alaba’s cross home.

Austria smelled blood and attempted to kill the match, with Sabitzer having a shot blocked before striking death again.

Former West Ham striker Arnautovic got behind the North Macedonian defense and passed Dimitrievski before rolling the ball into the net.


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