In what should have been a one-sided game in the qualifications for the European Championship 2014 in Denmark turned into a nightmare for the Macedonian team led by Kiril Lazarov. In Espinho (near Porto), the Portuguese squad showed brave and fearless play already from the beginning taking the lead and never letting it go. Portugal played as if they were the huge favorite in this game, totally outplaying the Macedonians, and in the end won a totally deserved 32-25 for the Portuguese.
Nikola Mitrevski, Filip Mirkulovski, Dejan Manaskov – the only bright spots
Of the bad display of the Macedonian players, only three had “fine” game – all players of HC Metalurg. Nikola Mitrevski proved why he had a nice game at home against Switzerland, and after replacing Borko Ristovski (15 mins, 0 saves), entered the game and managed to make some important saves, however they were in vain considering the failure in the Macedonian attack. After Mirkulovski entered the game and started organizing the game in place of Filip Lazarov, the game started to move, and at times with his brave moves brought important goals for the team. Dejan Manaskov yet once again showed why he is very promising winger, and probably could receive the highest grade of all for his performance today.
In addition, Filip Lazarov’s role in the starting roster is rather unknown, contemplating that he has continuously showed very bad games. Against Switzerland when he was leading the attack, Macedonia from +13 finished with +6. Now in the beginning of the game against Portugal he had nothing to show, and seemed clueless in the attack.
Vlatko Temelkov and Zlatko Mojsovski combine for 1 goal, Georgievski left out
As already announced, the in-form promising wing Goce Georgievski has been left out of the team in the name of “youthening” the team. The players that played on his position, Vlatko Temelkov and Zlatko Mojsovski, which are 32 and 31 years old, combined for a total of 1 goal, while Georgievski with 25 years who scores 4-5 goals per game in the Champions League did not get his chance.
Fans want Lino Cervar to replace Zvonko Sundovski
On the social networks, there has been a lot of calls that Sundovski is replaced after the debacle in the Olympic Qualifications in which Macedonia lost all three games, however that did not happen. As time passes this calls gain on value, and especially after today’s game, it is to be seriously considered many fans argue. The most wanted name is Cervar, however, some of the players in the national team are afraid that if Cervar is to be coach some of them will definitely not get a call for the national team.
Next: Macedonia with two games against Spain in March
Considering the current condition in the national team, what is to be expected from the games against Spain in March? Spain “wiped the floor” with Portugal at home with 34:20 and then Switzerland away 33:22, and it will be no wonder if we are to see a convincing Spain win in the match-up in March against Macedonia.