FYROM and Slovakia finish off equal

FYROM 1-1 Slovakia Nikolce Noveski cancelled out Juraj Pirosk's opener for the visitors as the Group B rivals signed off with a goal and a point apiece in Skopje.

Nikolce Noveski (in red) got FYROM's equaliser against Slovakia
Nikolce Noveski (in red) got FYROM's equaliser against Slovakia ©Getty Images

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Slovakia settled for a 1-1 draw in their final UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier, with both sides weakened by injuries and suspensions for their closing Group B fixture.

Juraj Piroska headed Vance Sikov's attempted clearance into the FYROM net to put the visitors ahead on 54 minutes, but Nikolce Noveski had the last word 11 minutes from the end, nodding in Ivan Trickovski's corner.

Erik Jendrišek had a half-chance for Slovakia at one end and Mario Gjurovski fired just wide at the other after a slow start to the game, before visiting goalkeeper Ján Mucha made an admirable contribution by saving Trickovski's free-kick just beyond the half-hour mark.

Slovakia then took the lead with their first chance after the break, as Piroska made the most of Sikov's misdirected attempt to clear his lines. FYROM almost fell further behind when Martin Bogatinov was forced to pull off a splendid double save to deny Slovakia captain Marek Hamšík and Piroska, and Noveski also did well to deflect Juraj Kucka's powerful shot away for a corner as the visitors built up momentum.

FYROM were resolute, though, and Filip Ivanovski and Vlade Lazarevski fashioned decent opportunities before Noveski earned them a share of the spoils, using his head to put the ball past Mucha from Trickovski's deflected corner.

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