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Friendly: Macedonia - Denmark 3:0

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Ibraimi celebrates his goal; photo: Yahoo!Ibraimi celebrates his goal; photo: Yahoo!Macedonia put together a dominant performance, especially in the 1st half, to dismantle Denmark on their way to a 3:0 victory.

From the outset, Macedonia controlled possession and was rewarded with a quick goal in the 8th minute through captain Goran Pandev.  The lively Agim Ibraimi played a ball for the charging left-back Aleksandar Lazevski who then managed to find Pandev in the center of the area whose shot went between the legs of Danish defender Daniel Agger before reaching the back of the net for a 1:0 lead.  For Pandev this was his 26th goal for the national team.  In the 17th minute, it was 2:0 after a great individual goal by Ibraimi.  Agim showed great dribbling skills to get past several opponents before firing a left footed shot from just outside of the box past the diving keeper Kasper Schmeichel.  Macedonia then had the easiest chance of the game in the 22nd minute to extend the lead to 3:0, but Adis Jahovikj somehow missed a sitter from close range.  Denmark was caught on the counter attack, Ivan Trichkovski showed unselfishness by drawing the keeper and then finding Jahovikj in front of an empty goal, but Adis hesitated for a moment and allowed the Danish defense to clear the danger for a huge missed opportunity.  However, two minutes later, it was 3:0 after Trichkovski's free kick was headed home by defender Nikolche Noveski.  That would prove to be the score at halftime as Macedonia played some of its best football to date.

Also during the 1st half, keeper Tome Pachovski seemed to be bothered by a hamstring injury around the 32nd minute.  He received treatment and managed to stay in the game until the end of the half before being substituted at the start of the 2nd half by Bogatinov.

The 2nd half was not as crisp with the numerous substitutions, but Macedonia managed to hold a clean sheet with backup goalkeeper Martin Bogatinov making his best save in the 80th minute on a great shot fired from distance by Victor Fischer.

Overall, it was a very good performance for the Macedonian side that should serve as momentum for the two 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Belgium next month.  The entire team played solid football, but the two wingers in particular, Ibraimi on the right and Trichkovski on the left, stood out for their contributions during the game.  Under manager Chedomir Janevski, Macedonia has started to play more attacking minded football which has led to a total of 7 goals in the past three friendlies under his watch.  Ibraimi has led the way and has now scored a goal in each of his last four games.

This was the third match between these two sides and now the score is leveled with one Denmark win, one Macedonia win and a draw.  Back in the qualifiers for EURO 1996, than as European holders, Denmark first played a 1:1 draw in Skopje and later celebrated a 1:0 win in Copenhagen.

To view the match report, click here.

Game highlights:

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