F.Y.R. Macedonia kept their slim hopes of qualifying for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs alive with a 2-1 home defeat of Switzerland.
The hosts were two goals to the good with a little over half an hour gone in Kumanovo thanks to strikes from Ivan Trickovski and Zoran Zlatkovski. And although Switzerland reduced the arrears three minutes later through Julian Esteban, F.Y.R. Macedonia held on for their second win of Group 5 to move above their opponents into third place with eight points from six matches.
Trickovski put F.Y.R. Macedonia ahead on 12 minutes when he converted Armend Alimi's pass from close range. F.Y.R. Macedonia continued to force their opponents on to the back foot and squandered several chances to increase their lead with Trickovski, Zlatkovski and Alimi all culpable. However their pressure was rewarded on 32 minutes when Zlatkovski latched on to a pass from Aleksandar Angelovski, and was left all alone to double the hosts' lead.
Switzerland hit back within three minutes when Esteban scored from the edge of the penalty area after a free-kick from Almen Abdi caused confusion in the F.Y.R. Macedonia defence. And although Switzerland produced an improved performance after the break, F.Y.R. Macedonia had few problems holding on, much to the disappointment of visiting coach Pierre-André Schürmann. "If you are playing a [UEFA] European Championship qualifier you need to be aggressive, and we were not," he said.