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FYROM clinch first win against Azerbaijan

FYROM 1-0 Azerbaijan
Darko Velkoski's goal was enough to secure the hosts their first Group 8 win and lift them off the bottom of the section.

Dorian Babunski in action during FYROM's first Group 8 win
Dorian Babunski in action during FYROM's first Group 8 win ©ekipa.mk

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia secured their first UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 8 victory against Azerbaijan.

Without a win in their opening two fixtures, FYROM sealed maximum points in their first official match in seven years at the National Arena Filip II Macedonian thanks to substitute Darko Velkoski's 69th-minute strike. The result puts Boban Babunski's charges level with Azerbaijan on four points.

The hosts began with great intensity and Aleksandar Trajkovski's header almost gave them an eighth-minute lead. David Babunski then tried his luck only to fire wide on two occasions before his brother Dorian spurned a glorious chance from close range in the 20th minute. FYROM continued to assert themselves and would have had a half-time advantage had Egzijan Alilovski converted his one-on-one opportunity.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first until the deadlock was finally broken by a superb Velkoski drive. The FK Rabotnicki forward picked the ball up 25 metres from goal and unleashed an unstoppable effort which flew into the top right-hand corner. For all their dominance, FYROM were almost denied a win in added time but goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski saved from Agabala Ramazanov.