Bulgaria defeated North Macedonia 1:0 in a group stage match of the UEFA nations league. Kiril Despodov brought the victory to the lions as he scored a fantastic goal in the 50’th minute of the game, assisted by Radoslav Kirilov. During the match, twenty-two shots were taken by both teams, out of which 8 were on target. Bulgarian players demonstrated excellent ball control by achieving 55% ball possession in the match. The Bulgarian squad made 420 passes with an accuracy of 75%. The game was played at Philip II arena with a maximum capacity of 36,460.
The match begins with playing the national anthems of both teams. But the reactions of North Macedonian fans are disgraceful. They abused the national anthem of Bulgaria and used vulgar language when the announcer introduced the name of Bulgarian footballers. Despite the continuous insulting and various ugly epithets, Bulgaria successfully achieved the victory and secured the second position in the group, following Georgia.
Compared to his first game in command of the tricolours, a 5:1 triumph over Gibraltar, Bulgaria coach Mladen Krstajic made three changes. Daniel Naumov, a CSKA 1948 guard, remained positioned at our goal post. Played in front of him were Viktor Popov, Plamen Galabov, Valentin Antov, and Anton Nedyalkov, who had switched back to the left back. Viktor Popov, and Petko Hristov replaced Ivan Turitsov by Galabov.
The match started nervously as both teams were attacking to take the lead. In the 15’th minute, Todor Todoroski made a fierce tackle on Marin Petkov. He tried to hit his knee; later, he was given a direct red card by Austrian referee Julian Weinberger after confirming the situation through VAR. The Macedonian coach, Blagoja Milevski, also received a yellow card for protesting against the referee’s decision. Following Refree’s decision, vulgar chants and shoutouts of UEFA Mafia increased by the Macedonian side.
Bulgaria and North Macedonia have played nine matches against each other since 1995. Out of which Bulgaria won 5, lost 2 and 2 draws. The last time they played against each other in June ended as a draw, with both teams scoring 1 goal.