Armenia Shut Out By North Macedonia: World Cup Dreams Dashed
Armenia lost a disappointing match on Thursday against North Macedonia 5-0. This realistically eliminates Armenia from contention to compete in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
After a hot start in the qualifiers, Armenia crumbled and fell as they are winless in their past six competitions.
Although the performance on the field did not look at its best, the Yerevan crowd never faltered as they brought their support throughout the entire game. Unfortunately, the energy did not completely transfer as this game never felt like a “win or go home” atmosphere for Armenia.
North Macedonia scored a brilliant high-effort goal that deflated the Armenian side. Stefan Askovski, right back for North Macedonia, completely powered through Armenia’s backline, earning every fifty-fifty ball and dribbled through Armenia’s lackluster attempts to tackle him down the wing. Askovski did earn some favorable bounces along the way but his drive and nose for the ball allowed him to slide through the defense to make a squaring pass to an unmarked goal-scorer, Aleksandar Trajkovski, at the penalty spot.
Armenia had some chances to stay in this game, driving up the field and attacking North Macedonia’s defense. However, it never looked completely dangerous to create a true scoring opportunity. Armenia had some chances to develop a good offensive play but did not have the composure or patience to take advantage of their opportunities. Instead of making the easy pass to create the flow of an attack, the ball was forced to make the special play that was easily defended and confronted by North Macedonia’s defense.
In the end, North Macedonia took advantage of their scoring opportunities and Armenia did not.
Other goal scorers for North Macedonia were Enis Bardhi, scoring a hat trick, one from the top of the box and two in the form of the penalty kicks, and Milan Ristovski.
Armenia plays Germany in their final World Cup Qualifier match as their only hope to advance is to win, erase an 18 point goal differential, and hope both Romania and North Macedonia lose.