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Vardar captures Super Cup on penalty kicks

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Vardar celebrates after the win; photo: VardarVardar celebrates after the win; photo: VardarThe first trophy of the season was won by Vardar after they overcame Rabotnichki 4:3 in the penalty shootout (match was tied at 1:1 after 120 minutes).

The Super Cup is usually played before the start of a new season, but that had to be pushed back in this campaign due to Rabotnichki's deep run in the Europa League qualifications. As a reminder, the Super Cup features the defending league champion (Vardar) versus the reigning cup winner (Rabotnichki).

Both Vardar and Rabotnichki decided to rest national team goalkeepers Tome Pachovski and Daniel Bozhinovski. Instead, the seldom used Filip Gachevski and Damjan Shishkovski started in their place. Vardar fielded an otherwise strong team, while Rabotnichki was hampered with several key absences. Goran Siljanovski, their right-back, remains out with an injury, while Stephan Vujčić and Marjan Altiparmakovski were also not in the starting lineup. Youngsters Sebastián Herrera and Milan Ristovski (the younger brother of Stefan) took their spots.

The opening goal came quickly in the 10th minute. Winger Petar Petkovski entered the penalty area and attempted a cross that was not properly cleared by Rabotnichki, allowing Filip Ivanovski to send a shot to the back of the net. The intensity level for the rest of the half was pretty low as there were few clear-cut chances by both clubs.

Rabotnichki did grab a quick equalizer early in the 2nd half. After a bad touch by left CB Darko Velkovski that led to a change of possession, Rabotnichki showed good execution to get Bazhe Ilijoski in a great position. The Rabotnichki captain made no mistake and calmly slotted his shot past Filip Gachevski.

After 90 minutes, the score would remain tied at 1:1. So, two 15 minute periods followed of extra time. That also led to no goals, meaning the penalty shootout would decide the winner.

Vardar would prevail 4:3 on penalties. Hovhannes Hambardzumyan, Aco Stojkov, Nikola Gligorov and Juan Felipe converted the Vardar penalties (only Filip Ivanovski missed), while Mite Cikarski, Stephan Vujčić and Milan Ilievski converted the Rabotnichki penalties (Marjan Altiparmakovski and Kire Ristevski missed).

Vardar: Gachevski, Hambardzumyan, Velkovski (90' Grncharov), Mijušković, Popov, Nikolov, Gligorov, P. Petkovski (55' Stojkov), Juan Felipe, Blazhevski (73' Ljamchevski), Ivanovski.

Rabotnichki: Shishkovski, Najdovski, Ilievski, Ristevski, Cikarski, Petrovikj, Trajchevski, Herrera (74' Mitrov), Markoski, Ristovski (58' Vujčić), Ilijoski (65' Altiparmakovski).

Click here to view the match report.

Highlights including the penalty shootout:

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