Watch Pandev, 37, score for North Macedonia as Austria scoffs at ‘comedy’ defense in Euro 2020 opener
GORAN PANDEV scored North Macedonia’s first goal in a major tournament thanks to a comedy of errors from Austria.
The veteran forward, 37, took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann to cancel Stefan Lainer’s opener to equalize his national level.
First of all, Martin Hinteregger’s attempt to break free hit Marcel Sabitzer in the face and bounced gently into Aleksandar Trajkovski’s path.
Austrian goalkeeper Bachmann rushed to win the ball, but he also spoiled the save – the ball landing at Pandev’s feet.
The North Macedonian striker was then given the simplest task, finishing in an empty net despite the efforts of David Alaba.
And fans on social media were quick to mock the comedic defense, with a tweet: “Can someone add the Benny Hills theme song to that?”
Another said: “Pandev with a proper FIFA, smash your controller type objective!”
A third added: “This goal is a mess but I’m here for it.”
Pandev, 37, 321 days old, became the second oldest player to score in the Euro after Austria’s Ivica Vastic (38, 257 days) in 2008 against Poland.
North Macedonia eventually slipped to a 3-1 defeat, but ahead of the game he claimed his country could be the surprise package this summer.
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Pandev said: “It means a lot, it is a huge source of pride for us, because until recently it was unthinkable that a national team like North Macedonia could participate in such an important competition.
“For our part, we have always believed in it. This generation has made history.
“We have had other strong players in the past, but only we were able to accomplish this feat. No one can ever take it away from us.
“Our ambitions are great, we hope to do well and win a few games. “The goal is to at least pass the group stage.
“We know it won’t be easy, but we are also aware of our strength, so we will try to do that too. “