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Nestorovski makes statement with hat-trick

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Nestorovski (C) playing for Inter Zaprešić; photo: tportal.hrNestorovski (C) playing for Inter Zaprešić; photo: tportal.hrIlija Nestorovski has scored 7 goals in the Croatian league this season, but there was no room for him on the preliminary national team roster.

The main problem for Macedonia's national team is scoring goals and converting chances. The squad has only scored twice in five total games this calendar year. To make matters worse, both goals weren't scored by classic strikers: one by defensive midfielder Arijan Ademi, and the other by attacking midfielder/winger Aleksandar Trajkovski.

The forwards that were called up on the recently announced squad by FFM were Mirko Ivanovski, Ivan Trichkovski and Bazhe Ilijoski. Let's take a closer look at their statistics this season:

Mirko Ivanovski, Videoton, Hungary:
6 games, 1 goal in the Hungarian League
3 games, 0 goals in the Champions League qualifiers
2 games, 0 goals in the Europa League qualifiers
(26 games, 1 goal in the national team)

Ivan Trichkovski, Legia, Poland:
2 games, 1 goal in the Polish League
1 game, 0 goals in the Europa League group stage
(34 games, 4 goals in the national team)

Bazhe Ilijoski, Rabotnichki, Macedonia:
7 games, 6 goals in the Macedonian League
1 game, 2 goals in the Macedonian Cup
1 game, 1 goal in the Macedonian Super Cup
7 games, 2 goals in the Europa League qualifiers
(11 games, 1 goal in the national team)

As you can see, only Ilijoski has been finding the net consistently, but that's done in the domestic league where the quality remains low. At least his natural position is that of a CF, unlike the others. Trichkovski is more of a winger, while Ivanovski is better suited as a secondary striker. He needs someone next to him to be effective. In a formation with one man up front, that doesn't suit his characteristics.

Trichkovski scored in his Legia debut, but he has only been given three total appearances, despite that. Ivanovski has not even been included in the Videoton squad the past three games.

Ilija Nestorovski has exploded this season in the Croatian top flight. On Saturday, he scored a hat-trick to help his team win 3:2 against NK Zagreb. He is now tied as the top goalscorer with Armin Hodžić of Dinamo Zagreb. We are aware that even that league isn't anything special, but it is still better then the Macedonian one. When things don't go as planned, why not give someone new a chance to see whether they can improve the situation? Ilija is 25 years old and has yet to be capped by the senior national team. Maybe it's time to test him. There is nothing to lose. Two games await in October, so Nestorovski can be added before the start of the national team preparations on October 5, without dropping anyone.

These are his stats this season:

Ilija Nestorovski, Inter Zaprešić, Croatia:
9 games, 7 goals in the Croatian League
(0 games, 0 goals in the national team)

It's not too late for Ljubinko Drulović to summon him. There are always additions/withdrawals heading into a national team fixture, just like before the two September qualifiers.

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