The North Macedonia Hype Train Reaches Its Final Stop And Waves Off A Legend

Several weeks ago, I decided that The18 would cover all things North Macedonia ahead of Euro 2020. With the Netherlands defeating the tournament’s lovable underdogs 3-0 on Monday, the dream is over.

With the average dream lasting only a couple of seconds, North Macedonia did well. Any neutral watching North Macedonia’s final game appreciated the fact that the minnows didn’t sit in deep against the Dutch. North Macedonia went down swinging with an attacking mindset and nearly scored on multiple occasions.

North Macedonia put the ball in the back of the net two times, but both were called back for offside. The Lynxes also managed to hit the post midway through the first half.

The Dutch capitalized on North Macedonia’s offensive approach to the game and were clinical on the counter.

Netherlands Goals Vs. North Macedonia

How that wasn’t a foul on Goran Pandev is beyond me.

The small Balkan nation might have finished Euro 2020 with zero points, but they showed plenty of heart. Ranked 62nd in the world, North Macedonia has nothing to be ashamed of after its first major tournament.

Pandev, the man who scored the goal to send his nation to the tournament, played his final game for the Lynxes. The captain of the team was given a standing ovation as he plans to now retire from international play. The 37-year-old’s influence on soccer in North Macedonia will go down in history.

There was also a classy moment from the Dutch before the game as Pandev was presented with a personalized jersey.

This was also likely the final international game for forward Ivan Trichkovski. While his performances weren’t his best showings, he should be proud to have represented his country at the Euros. North Macedonia’s head coach, Igor Angelovski, will leave the national team too.

This leaves an uphill battle for North Macedonia in its World Cup qualifying campaign. Victories against Germany and Liechtenstein have the Lynxes second in their group now. With seven qualifying games to go, there’s plenty of work still to do.

Thank you for the entertainment at Euro 2020, North Macedonia. Until next time.

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