The Austrian national soccer team won its first encounter in the Eurocup final phase on Sunday, defeating North Macedonia 3-1 in their Group C opener.In front of a big number of spectators from their homeland, the North Macedonian team, captained by veteran Goran Pandev, fought valiantly for a draw until the final whistle.
Historic moment: North Macedonia, population 2 million, smaller than Houston, TX, scores equalizer in first ever major tournament. Goal scored by 37-year old Goran Pandev who’s represented nation for 20 years dreaming of this day. Human poetry of Sports 🇲🇰 pic.twitter.com/q0gxo8Vuam
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) June 13, 2021
In front of 10,000 supporters at the National Stadium in Bucharest, Romania, Austria played a more defensive game than usual, showcasing the individual talent of its players from the outset, causing significant damage to their opponents in midfield, to which the North Macedonians were unable to respond.
Overview of the game
In the face of two teams that have little hope of reaching the finals of the Euro competition,it was Austria who shone in the second half and eventually defeated Macedonia 1-3. This was the first victory in Austrian history in the Euro competition. As expected, Austria started the game better and scored the first goal in the 18th minute after creating one or two chances.
It was on a spectacular pass from Sabitzer that the liner scored the first goal with a technical shot from a difficult angle. Minutes later, Austria had another chance to score in a similar attack. But this time, Karadzic’s shot on Sabitzer’s pass was well blocked by Dimitrovsky. But in the 28th minute, Macedonia scored against the flow of the game.
On a mistake by Hinterger, the ball went into the Austrian penalty area and Daniel Bachmann made a mistake in his exit so that Goran Pandev could easily open the empty gate of Austria.
Nothing special happened on the gates and the two teams went into the locker room after accepting a 1-1 draw. But in the 78th minute, on a spectacular pass from David Alaba, it was from the left that Michael Gregorich took a position in the goal area and managed to open the Macedonian goal with a precise position.
In the final seconds, Arnatovic opened the scoring by crossing the Macedonian goalkeeper barrier and becoming the third goal scorer, with Austria eventually winning the match 3-3.
On a rainy match day in Bucharest, Marcel Sabitzer and Stefan Lainer scored the first goals for the Austrian team, with the former making a superb centring pass to the latter, who shot the ball into the net.Then Pandev of North Macedonia stepped up, scoring the team’s first goal in the final stages of a Eurocup tournament right before halftime.
After the half, both teams came out hunting for the game-winning goal, and the game took on a new urgency, with muffed moves and flubbed driving chances near midfield.
More self-confidence of Austria
But, as time went on, Austria grew more confident, particularly after Marko Arnautovic and Michael Gregoritsch joined the team, adding significantly more depth to the squad’s offensive game.After a superb centering ball from the left flank by David Alaba, a new signee with Spain’s Real Madrid, Gregoritsch scored the Austrians’ second goal, which occurred 12 minutes before time.
Angelovski’s team pushed hard for a 2-2 draw until the very last minute of play, but Arnautovic sealed the deal moments before the final whistle after rushing into the North Macedonian goal.On Thursday, Austria will meet the Netherlands in Amsterdam, while North Macedonia will remain in Bucharest to face Ukraine.
Bachmann, Lainer, Dragovic (Lienhart, m.46), Hinteregger, Ulmer; Laimer (Baumgartlinger, m.93), Schlager (Ilsanker, m.94); Baumgartner (Gregoritsch, m.58), Sabitzer, Alaba; and Kalajdzic (Arnautovic, m. 59).Franco Foda is the coach. Dimitrievski; Alioski, Musliu (Ristovski, m.86), Velkovski, Ristovski, Nikolov (Bejtulaim m.63); Elmas, Ademi, Bardhi (Trickovski, m.82); Trajkovski (Kostadinov, m.63); Trajkovski (Kostadinov, m.63); Trajkovski (Kost
Igor Angelovski is the coach. Trajkovski (m.42) and Alioski (m.52) for North Macedonia, and Lainer (m.85) for Austria, were all given yellow cards by Swedish referee Andreas Ekberg.