It was a bold statement, but Lenče Andreevska did not seem to be joking when she looked ahead to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's final Group B game against France on Sunday. "We will score a goal – that's a promise," said the midfielder.
The hosts have yet to muster a single meaningful shot and have conceded 13 times in meetings with Spain and the Netherlands, Thursday's 7-0 loss to the Jong Oranje ending hopes of progress to the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals. They remain unfazed, however, and intend to end their debut at this level with their best result so far.
"We'll try to keep the scoreline lower than it was in the other two games," said Andreevska, singled out by coach Dobrislav Dimovski as his side's brightest performer against the Netherlands. "We will score a goal – that's a promise.
The enthusiasm is still there and we'll give everything in our last game."
With Les Bleuettes desperate for victory to boost their own qualification prospects, FYROM can expect another tough encounter at the Milano Arena in Kumanovo. As far as Andreevska is concerned, they will need to keep their focus better than they managed after shipping a first-minute opener in their last outing.
"It was a difficult match and the Dutch were better than us, but our concentration was quite bad after the first goal," she explained. "We wanted to keep the scoreline lower than it had been against Spain but we lost our focus."
The FK Borec player also believes the Netherlands are a better side than Spain. "They're strong and fast," she said. "Their passing, shooting and everything else is more efficient than Spain's. Technically, they're really skilled."
Facing such opponents has nonetheless provided many valuable lessons so far. "The experience has been good," said Andreevska, whose team are sharing a hotel with their section rivals. "It's been great to play the other teams and come up against great players.
"Mixing with them hasn't been so easy because of the language problem, but we were able to chat with some of the Spain girls. There's going to be a party later on and that will be good because all the teams will be there. We're looking forward to that."
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