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Overview of Round 22 in the First League

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Ilijoski after one of his goals; photo: sportmedia.mkIlijoski after one of his goals; photo: sportmedia.mkRabotnichki moved within one point of top ranked Vardar after today's results, Shkendija cruised in Kratovo, while Turnovo got an important win over Pelister.

Vardar signed some big names (for Macedonian standards) in the winter transfer window, but that is not translating on the pitch. Vardar dropped two more points today after playing an uninspiring 0:0 draw against Bregalnica. Vardar looked out of sorts and rarely threatened the Bregalnica goal. Substitute Artak Dashyan even received a direct red card late in the match after a bad challenge. Vardar fans have been critical of the team's play in the second half of the season, and that pressure will only intensify after this game. Their lead at the top of the table is now down to only one point.

Vardar was awful againVardar was awful again
Some highlights:

Bregalnica: Gachevski, Ristovski (75' Andonov), Tonev, Stojanov, Blazheski, Mitrev, Gjoreski, Hristov, Zdravkov, Mihailov (46' Nacev), Stanković (58' Stupić).

Vardar: Pachovski, Hambardzumyan, Tanevski, Grncharov, Popov, Stojanovski (55' Dashyan), Gligorov, Ibričić, Ljamchevski (69' Miranyan), Blazhevski, Ivanovski.

Over in Kratovo, the big news was that Shkendija benched both Mohammadou Idrissou, their big signing in the winter, and Bojan Vručina. Instead, new manager Jeton Bekjiri started Hristijan Kirovski as the main striker. That strategy worked as Shkendija made easy work of Sileks. Viktor Juffo, Jasir Selmani and Sedat Berisha scored one goal apiece to bring a winning debut for Bekjiri.

Sileks was defeated soundlySileks was defeated soundly
Highlights of the game:

Sileks: Simov, Mickov, Timovski, Ristevski, Velinov, Rudan (20' Janev), Todorov (46' Acevski), Bagashovski, Panovski (62' Nedeljković), Duranski, Glavevski.

Shkendija: Jovanovski, Todorovski (74' Murati), Berisha, Vukčević, Demiri, Bojku, Useini, Selmani, Alimi (78' Polozhani), Juffo, Kirovski (85' Vručina).

Pelister hosted Turnovo in an important match between the 7th and 8th ranked teams on the standings. Both teams are aiming to move into 6th place, thus avoiding the relegation play-off that awaits the bottom four teams. In the 1st half, both teams were wasteful by making messes of quality chances. Dragan Gjorgiev gave Pelister problems with his pace, but Serbian keeper Miloš Dragojević was in good form. The same can be said about Turnovo keeper Dino Zahov. In the end, Turnovo scored the only goal on a great long range strike by Bojan Najdenov. That was enough for them to take home all three points.

Pelister suffered a tough lossPelister suffered a tough loss
Some highlights and the great goal by Najdenov (at 1:10):

Pelister: Dragojević, Petkovski, Chesmedjiev, Stepanovski, Todorovski (46' Anastasov), Stanojević (70' Milenkovski), Ljamchevski (60' Smokovski), Mustafov, Velkovski, Biljali.

Turnovo: Zahov, Iliev, Mutafchiyski, Tanushev (64' Stoilov), Kocheski, Milushev, Doriev, Mavrov, Ivanov (75' Tashev), Najdenov, Gjorgiev (69' Krstovski).

Rabotnichki utilized a brace by Bazhe Ilijoski to take a commanding 2:0 lead over Teteks heading into the break. In a match that was played on a terrible pitch in Skopje, Teteks managed to pull one goal back in the 78th minute when they converted a penalty. However, Rabotnichki held on in the final 12 minutes, despite playing with 10 men when one of their defenders was shown a red card on that penalty for Teteks.

Rabotnichki won on a terrible pitchRabotnichki won on a terrible pitch

Teteks: Manchevski, Drobarov, Stojchevski, Oslonovskiy, Najdovski, Kostadinov (46' Churlinov), Jovanoski (60' Hristov), Bozhinovski, Stojkovski, Nachevski, Pavlov.

Rabotnichki: Bozhinovski, Siljanovski, Velkovski, Dodevski, Ilievski, Vujčić, Petrović (90' Sadiki), Trajchevski, Cikarski, Altiparmakovski (85' Anene), Ilijoski (75' Sahiti).

In the last game, Renova got the better of Metalurg by winning 2:0. Renova's best player, Izair Emini, scored both goals to lead them to the home triumph. Metalurg continues to field a very young team, but they have struggled as of late.

Video of the two goals by Emini:


Renova: Mustafi, Memedi, Mishkovski, Mecinovikj, Neziri, Selmani (78' Markovski), Sadiki, Ramadani (88' Imeri), Nuhiu, Redjepi (70' Velija), Emini.

Metalurg: Taleski, Ristovski, Petrov, Bakracheski, Gjorgievski, Krivanjeva (53' Jevtoski), Krstev (65' Stojanovski), Naumoski (46' Tanturovski), Angelov, Radeski, Bujchevski.

Round 22 results:

Bregalnica - Vardar 0:0

Sileks - Shkendija 0:3 (0:2)
12' Victor Juffo, 15' Jasir Selmani, 73' Sedat Berisha

Pelister - Turnovo 0:1 (0:0)
84' Bojan Najdenov

Teteks - Rabotnichki 1:2 (0:2)
78' (pen) Vasiliy Pavlov - 22' (pen), 34' Bazhe Ilijoski

Renova - Metalurg 2:0 (0:0)
51', 90' Izair Emini

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