South East Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia squeezed through to the UEFA Regions' Cup intermediary round after edging out Eastern Northern Ireland on goal difference in preliminary round Group C.
An 8-0 defeat of Estonia's Tartu FC HaServ on the final day of the tournament made sure the hosts outscored their main rivals in the section, with Stojanče Dunimagloski hitting a hat-trick to give Mite Mitev's side top billing. "First place in the group is reward for our efforts," said the coach. "We played against some quality teams, especially from Northern Ireland and Sweden, but I feel that in every match we were the better side and deserved to win."
It was set to be a two-horse race after Matchday 1, with South East FYROM winning 3-1 against Sweden's Sandarna, while Eastern NIR put four without reply past Tartu, Aaron Boyd bagging three of them. However, the top two's subsequent meeting proved inconclusive; Michael McQuitty put Eastern NIR ahead, but Krste Todorov replied within a minute, and the score remained 1-1 despite the Mitev's men twice hitting the woodwork.
Substitute Igemar Sanden's late goal gave Sandarna a win against Tartu to keep their qualifying hopes alive on the same day, but they could not maintain that momentum in the final round as Scott Irvine's cross set Damian McParland up to head home Eastern NIR's only goal in Strumica.
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