Macedonians need EURO inspiration
How did they perform in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification round?
• Two victories and three draws from their twelve-match campaign provided a fifth-placed finish ahead of Armenia and Andorra, but Macedonia were still seven points adrift of fourth-placed Finland.
• Home form looked solid as they opened their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 defeat of Armenia and then the Netherlands were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw in Skopje. Given that the Dutch only dropped four points in their entire campaign, this result cannot be overlooked. However, four days after surprising the Netherlands, Macedonia lost 1-0 away to Andorra to hand the Pyrenean side their first-ever victory in the competition.
• Andorra would prove stubborn rivals in their return to Skopje as a scoreless draw proved as Macedonia's campaign continued to falter. They managed a 2-1 win in Yerevan away to Armenia thanks to a Goran Pandev double and then rounded off their campaign with a scoreless draw away to the already-qualified Dutch.
How did they perform in UEFA EURO 2004™?
• The bare statistical record will show UEFA EURO 2004™ to have been a poor campaign for Macedonia with six points from eight matches, eleven goals scored and 14 conceded.
• But their heaviest defeat was a 2-0 reverse at home to Slovakia, and there were very commendable performances against both England and Turkey. Macedonia took the lead on three separate occasions against England in their two matches, but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw away from home before later losing 2-1 at home. It was the same story in reverse against Turkey, as they led at home before finishing on the losing side (2-1) and then took the advantage on two occasions in Istanbul only to end up defeated (3-2).
• They took four points from Liechtenstein, a 3-1 home win and a 1-1 away draw, while Slovakia were also held to the same scoreline in Zilina.
What is their best performance in the UEFA European Championship?
• Macedonia collected eight points from their eight fixtures in the UEFA EURO 2000™ qualifying round, an improvement on four years previous when they amassed seven from ten in their first participation in the competition.
• The UEFA EURO 2000™ campaign had a particularly Balkan flavour with both Yugoslavia and Croatia included in the same group alongside Macedonia, with the Republic of Ireland and Malta completing the line-up.
• Home and away victories against Malta helped boost the final standing, but two home draws against Croatia (1-1) and the Republic of Ireland (1-1) delivered the strongest performances of the campaign.
• Recorded an 11-1 victory away against Liechtenstein on 9 November 1996 in 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying action, to date their record victory in competitive and friendly internationals.
• Up until the start of qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008™, Macedonia had played 26 matches in the competition. In that time, they had won four, drawn nine and lost 13 with 33 goals scored and 46 conceded.
• Their record defeat in the UEFA European Championship came on 7 June 1995 when they slumped to a 5-0 home defeat by Belgium, for whom Enzo Scifo scored twice.
• First competed in the qualifying round for UEFA EURO '96™, drawing their opening match on 7 September 1994 at home to Denmark, the winners of the competition in 1992. Mitko Stojkovski gave Macedonia a fourth-minute lead before the visitors equalised through Flemming Poulsen three minutes from time.
• Won their first match at the fourth time of asking, a 3-0 defeat of Cyprus in Skopje on 17 December 1994 with Boљko Djurovski (14, 25 and 90) scoring a hat-trick.
• Macedonia's first international friendly ended in a 4-1 victory away against Slovenia on 13 October 1993.