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Season review: 2010/11

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Season reviewSeason reviewA brief review of all that happened in the domestic Leagues and Cup in the past 2010/11 season. It will be remembered as a season of historic events, surprises and downfalls the Macedonian football had never seen before.

The First League. Shkendija from Tetovo became champion for the first time in the club's history. That's not a huge surprise, but in this case we are talking about a club that was just promoted as in the season 2009/10 won the Second League! And that's a huge step forward!
The bottom two places were taken by Vardar and Pelister, the two clubs with the richest history in the Macedonian football. Vardar, who was never relegated before, for the first time in it's history will miss a season in the First League and will compete in the Second. Pelister already tasted the bitterness of the Second League as they were there for 3 consecutive seasons after got relegated in 2002/03. Besides these two, Skopje is relegated as well after lost in the play-off and failed to stay up after only one season.
After assuring their place in the league for next season, Sileks will become the only club who has played all the First League seasons since the independence of Macedonia in 1992.
Shkendija will play in the Champions League qualifications, while Metalurg, Renova and Rabotnicki will compete in the Europa League qualifications.

The Second League. First time champion is 11 Oktomvri from Prilep, a club who will be a newcomer to the First League. The suspension of Pobeda by FIFA will not prevent the football fans in Prilep to watch First League football thanks to this club who bears the name of the Macedonian national holiday, the 11th of October.
After 16 seasons of playing in the Second and Third League, Ohrid got back in the First. Their last season of top division football was 1995/96 when they were relegated. Finally, the best touristic city in Macedonia is back on the top football map.
The surprise of the season is called Miravci. The team from the small village of Miravci with only around 1.700 citizens managed to beat Skopje and make history, their very first time in the First League. In 2007/08 they missed the promotion for only 2 points and then were beaten in the play-off by Bashkimi, but now they made it!
Cementarnica 55, twice Cup finalist (once champion) got relegated and for the first time will play in the Third League. Once a stable first league club, Cementarnica had never fallen untill 2005/06 when got relegated for the first time in the Second League. Together with them, Novaci and Vlaznimi are back into the Third Leagues.

The Macedonian Cup. First historical title for Metalurg. They beat Teteks in the final, who was very close to defend the title because they won it the previous season. Also Second League side Tikves was close to reach the final but their journey ended in the semi-final. This season's Cup was also marked by the early eliminations of Rabotnicki and Shkendija who were knocked out by Miravci and Vlaznimi in the 1/16 finals.

The Third Leagues. Four of the 5 Third Leagues ended as it was predicted before the begining. Osogovo clinched another title of the East, while Korab was best in the South-West. Pobeda Junior had problems until the end as Babuna happened to be a strong opponent, while Treska had to defeat Madzari Solidarnost in an exciting play-off game. A controversial season with teams dropping and than mysteriously coming back in the league was marked in the West where Ljuboten were deducted 6 points which made Rufeja firm favourites and eventually got promoted.

We always hope for a better next season. May the best teams win!

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