World Cup 2014: Macedonia 2-1 Wales
Aleksandar Trajkovski's late goal in Skopje finally ended Wales' slim hopes of reaching the 2014 World Cup.
Ivan Trickovski gave Macedonia the lead after a deflected free-kick fell kindly, but Aaron Ramsey brought Wales level with a penalty he won himself.
World record signing Gareth Bale stayed on the bench, with the Real Madrid star not yet match-fit.
But Wales seemed to have done enough for a draw without him until Trajkovski seized on David Vaughan's mistake.
The defeat mathematically ended Wales' remote chance of overhauling runaway Group A top two Belgium and Croatia.
But the battle for the other four teams in the group was always realistically for third place and with it an improved seeding when the draw for Euro 2016 qualification is made.
After slumping in Skopje, defeat by Serbia next Tuesday in Cardiff is likely to end Wales' hopes of even third place.
They will have to face the Serbs without captain Ashley Williams, after the Swansea City centre-back picked up a yellow card in a scuffle moments before half-time, while midfielder Jonny Williams limped off injured after another impressive outing and is a doubt.
The match at the Phillip II Arena was the first between the two sides and Wales started with Cardiff City veteran Craig Bellamy as a lone striker, plus a five-man midfield given license to get forward in support.
Wales manager Chris Coleman had suffered the embarrassment of arriving late in Skopje on Thursday, after missing the team flight from Cardiff because of a lost passport, but a bright start suggested Wales' preparations had not been unduly affected.
Joe Ledley found Jonny Williams drifting off the last defender and the Crystal Palace midfielder bore down on goal, only for goalkeeper Tome Pacovski to slide in to block with his feet.
Macedonia had given Wales little trouble until Vaughan dived in on Goran Pandev to give them a free-kick just outside the area.
Agim Ibraimi hit the wall, but the ball spun into the path of Trickovski and he reacted quickest to smash the ball past Boaz Myhill.
When Ramsey was brought down soon after, Bellamy almost provided the perfect riposte for Wales but saw his free-kick come back off the post.
Wales could have been excused for feeling hard done by, but they kept pressing forward and Ramsey had them deservedly level by half-time.
He jinked around Trickovski into the area and the Macedonia goal-scorer undid his earlier good work by bringing Ramsey down.
The Arsenal midfielder took the penalty himself and hit it hard and straight as Pacovski dived away to his right.
The half ended with tempers raised after an untidy scuffle started by Pandev who, after Vance Sikov fouled Ramsey, tried to grab a handful of the Welshman's shirt to haul him to his feet.
Pandev was booked for his actions, but so was Ashley Williams in the minor melee that followed and that yellow card brought a one-match ban for the Wales captain under the totting up system.
That ill-temper spilled over into the second half and Jonny Williams limped off after being on the end of a robust Ibraimi challenge, for which the Cagliari midfielder was booked.
Coleman resisted the temptation to throw Bale into the fray and instead Brighton's Andrew Crofts came off the bench.
Jack Collison and Ledley went close as Wales sought a winner, both seeing their shots go just wide of the post.
Macedonia had good chances of their own, with first Pandev denied as Sam Ricketts - winning his 50th cap - threw himself in the way, before Myhill came out well to save from Trickovski.
But with 10 minutes remaining Wales' encouraging performance was undone when Vaughan lost possession on the edge of his area, allowing substitute Trajkovski to drill home a low shot and hand Macedonia victory.
- 01 Pacovski
- 02 Georgievski (Lazevski - 77' )
- 04 Noveski
- 06 Sikov
- 13 Ristovski
- 16 Gligorov Booked
- 22 Tasevski
- 07 Trickovski (Mojsov - 85' )
- 10 Pandev Booked
- 17 Kostovski Booked
- 19 Ibraimi Booked (Trajkovski - 60' )
- 12 Naumovski
- 23 Darko Tofiloski
- 03 Ivanovski
- 05 Grncarov
- 15 Mojsov
- 18 Lazevski
- 08 Babunski
- 20 Stjepanovic
- 09 Jahovic
- 11 Trajkovski
- 14 Rangjelovic
- 21 Ivanovski
- 01 Myhill
- 02 Gunter
- 03 Davies
- 05 Ricketts
- 06 Williams Booked
- 04 Ledley
- 07 Vaughan Booked (Vokes - 85' )
- 09 Collison (Matthews - 78' )
- 10 Ramsey
- 11 Jo Williams (Crofts - 62' Booked )
- 08 Bellamy Booked
- 12 Hennessey
- 21 fon Williams
- 14 Gabbidon
- 15 Matthews
- 22 Dummett
- 13 John
- 16 Crofts
- 17 Bale
- 18 King
- 19 Vokes
- 20 Church
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.90:00 +4:00
Andrew Crofts takes a shot. Nikolce Noveski gets a block in.90:00 +3:18
Goran Pandev gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Williams. Free kick taken by Boaz Myhill.90:00 +2:53
Foul by Adam Matthews on Nikolce Noveski, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Nikolce Noveski.90:00 +2:01
Header at goal by Sam Vokes goes right of the post.86:37
Nikolce Noveski concedes a free kick for a foul on Aaron Ramsey. Craig Bellamy crosses the ball in from the free kick.84:18 Substitution
Substitution Daniel Mojsov comes on in place of Ivan Trickovski.84:18 Substitution
Substitution David Vaughan leaves the field to be replaced by Sam Vokes.81:05
Goran Pandev takes a shot.79:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Aleksandar Trajkovski - Macedonia 2 - 1 Wales Aleksandar Trajkovski grabs a goal with a right foot finish. FYR Macedonia 2-1 Wales.77:49 Substitution
Substitution Adam Matthews joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jack Collison.76:53 Booking
Corner from the left by-line taken by Aleksandar Trajkovski. Andrew Crofts gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darko Tasevski. The referee books Andrew Crofts for unsporting behaviour. Shot comes in from Goran Pandev from the free kick that goes wide of the right-hand upright.76:02 Substitution
Substitution Alexander Lazevski joins the action as a substitute, replacing Daniel Georgievski.73:17
Corner taken by Craig Bellamy from the left by-line. Vance Sikov makes a clearance.72:22
Joe Ledley sends in a cross.70:53
Ivan Trickovski takes a shot. Boaz Myhill blocks the ball.70:06
Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Bellamy. Clearance by Darko Tasevski.68:41
Corner taken by Craig Bellamy. David Vaughan takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Goran Pandev gets a block in.64:52
Foul by Craig Bellamy on Daniel Georgievski, free kick awarded. Tome Pacovski takes the free kick.
Goran Pandev has an effort at goal and missed to the left of the net.61:32 Substitution
Substitution Andrew Crofts joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jonathan Williams.60:00 Substitution
Substitution Aleksandar Trajkovski joins the action as a substitute, replacing Agim Ibraimi.59:19
The ball is crossed by Aaron Ramsey. Tome Pacovski catches the ball.57:17 Booking
Agim Ibraimi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Williams. Agim Ibraimi is shown a yellow card. Ben Davies restarts play with the free kick.55:47
Darko Tasevski gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Ledley. Sam Ricketts restarts play with the free kick.53:59
The ball is crossed by Jonathan Williams. Clearance by Vance Sikov. Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Bellamy. Foul by Jonathan Williams on Nikolce Noveski, free kick awarded. Tome Pacovski restarts play with the free kick.49:29
Jack Collison takes a shot and missed to the left of the net.48:23 Booking
Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Georgievski on Ben Davies. Booking for Jovan Kostovski. Free kick taken by Ashley Williams.45:10
Corner taken by Craig Bellamy.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:00 +1:54 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.45:00 +0:45
Ashley Williams shown a yellow card.45:00 +0:45
Goran Pandev goes into the referee's book.45:00 +0:45 Booking
Booking45:00 +0:45 Booking
The referee blows for offside. Ashley Williams restarts play with the free kick.41:56
Goran Pandev challenges Aaron Ramsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jack Collison.40:43
The referee cautions Stefan Ristovski for unsporting behaviour.39:53
Nikola Gligorov receives a caution.39:53 Booking
Stefan Ristovski concedes a free kick for a foul on David Vaughan. Boaz Myhill restarts play with the free kick.38:12 Goal scored
Goal! - Aaron Ramsey - Macedonia 1 - 1 Wales Placed penalty scored by Aaron Ramsey. FYR Macedonia 1-1 Wales.36:55
Ivan Trickovski concedes a Penalty for a foul on Aaron Ramsey.35:02
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Vaughan by Ivan Trickovski. Sam Ricketts takes the free kick.34:12
Unfair challenge on Ivan Trickovski by Jack Collison results in a free kick. Nikolce Noveski restarts play with the free kick.32:17
Unfair challenge on Ashley Williams by Daniel Georgievski results in a free kick. A cross is delivered by Craig Bellamy. Header by Jack Collison goes over the bar.29:27
Jovan Kostovski gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Williams. Ashley Williams takes the free kick.28:32
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sam Ricketts on Jovan Kostovski. Free kick taken by Ivan Trickovski.26:53
Unfair challenge on Aaron Ramsey by Daniel Georgievski results in a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Craig Bellamy from the free kick and hits the post. Header by Jack Collison misses to the right of the target.26:15
Goran Pandev takes a shot. Boaz Myhill parries the effort to safety.23:16
Unfair challenge on Jonathan Williams by Daniel Georgievski results in a free kick. Jonathan Williams restarts play with the free kick.22:40
Corner from the left by-line taken by Ivan Trickovski.21:18
Craig Bellamy shown a yellow card.21:18 Booking
Assist on the goal came from Agim Ibraimi.20:10 Goal scored
Goal! - Ivan Trickovski - Macedonia 1 - 0 Wales Ivan Trickovski slots the ball right footed into the goal. FYR Macedonia 1-0 Wales.18:44 Booking
Goran Pandev fouled by David Vaughan, the ref awards a free kick. David Vaughan receives a yellow card. Agim Ibraimi has a shot from the free kick which hits the wall.17:42
A cross is delivered by Craig Bellamy.16:16
The ball is sent over by Stefan Ristovski.15:50
Craig Bellamy crosses the ball. Tome Pacovski safely holds on.13:37
Jonathan Williams takes a shot. Tome Pacovski makes a block.7:25
The ball is delivered by Aaron Ramsey.6:14
David Vaughan concedes a free kick for a foul on Ivan Trickovski. Ivan Trickovski takes the free kick.3:31
Jack Collison gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stefan Ristovski. Free kick crossed by Ivan Trickovski. Clearance by Ashley Williams.2:43
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darko Tasevski by Aaron Ramsey. Stefan Ristovski takes the free kick.0:00
The game gets underway.
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