Slovakia were held to a 1-1 draw at home by F.Y.R. Macedonia in UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 7.
Out of running
Szilárd Nemeth gave the home team lead in the first half but Draganco Dimitrovski levelled after the interval to ensure the points were shared between two sides that had already been eliminated. Slovakia remained in third place behind Turkey and section leaders England.
Second half foothold
F.Y.R Macedonia, who finished second from bottom ahead of Liechtenstein, gained a foothold in the match in the second half having created few meaningful chances in the opening period. The home team were denied by solid defending early on but it was not long before Nemeth found a way through. He opened the scoring in the 25th minute, striking a powerful shot from distance which goalkeeper Petar Milosevski was powerless to stop.
The visitors were fortunate not to go further behind. Nemeth, Tomáš Oravec and Vladimír Janocko could all have increased the lead and Milosevski was forced to produce a number of fine saves to prevent Slovakia from going further ahead. Dimitrovski, who had come on as a replacement for Ilco Naumoski, eventually equalised in the 63rd minute. He collected a pass from Artim Sakiri after a fine counterattacking move and remained composed to slot in.
F.Y.R. Macedonia, however, missed the best chance of the game when Vanco Trajanov's volley hit the post after he had latched on to a rebound from a Dimitrija Kapinkovski free-kick in the 79th minute. Slovakia face Liechtenstein for their final qualifier on 11 October while F.Y.R. Macedonia can look back at an impressive draw in England as the highlight of their campaign.