Filip Hološko's goal in the first minute of added time earned Slovakia a winning start to the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign in Bratislava.
Vladimír Weiss's team had to work hard for their victory but finally found a way through after the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had been reduced to ten men when Vanče Šikov earned a second yellow card for time-wasting after 85 minutes.
Slovakia had gone into the game missing injured forwards Stanislav Šesták and Róbert Vittek and without that pair they struggled to find a way to goal in the first period. Miroslav Stoch threatened with a couple of shots and Hološko sent a header at Edin Nuredinovski, but the visitors were largely comfortable.
Home coach Weiss had asked the Slovakian public to turn out in force at the Štadión Pasienky but the ground was half-full and chances remained scarce early in the second half. Indeed the visitors began to offer a threat on the counter and after the hour Goran Pandev sent a rasping shot a just few centimetres wide of Ján Mucha's goal. Pandev tried again with a cross-shot saved by Mucha, before his team-mate Slavčo Georgievski missed the target with 14 minutes remaining.
With the home fans roaring Slovakia on, captain Marek Hamšík went close from substitute Juraj Kucka's corner but when Kucka was denied by Nuredinovski with 90 minutes on the clock, a draw seemed inevitable. Yet 60 seconds later, Hološko struck to change everything, and Slovakia had the three points.
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