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Tbilisi, Georgia – 37-year-old Goran Pandev sent North Macedonia to its first major tournament, and scored his decisive goal on Thursday in the 1–0 win over Georgia to secure a place in next year’s European Championship

Pandev brilliantly finished off a superb passing pass through the Georgia defense in the 56th minute of the one-game play-off match to decide who qualified for the postponed Euro 2020 Championship

The game was perhaps the largest in the history of two young soccer countries, but no fans were allowed into the 54,000-seat National Stadium in Tbilisi due to the restrictions of Coronavirus in Georgia

Three more playoff matches began later on Thursday to complete the 24-nation squad for the Euro 2020 tournament: Hungary vs Iceland and Northern Ireland vs Slovakia and Serbia vs Scotland Only Northern Ireland allowed some fans to attend.

Pandev’s 36th goal for North Macedonia cemented his record with a national team that joined FIFA and UEFA as an independent nation just 26 years ago

The former Yugoslavia will face Austria and Ukraine in Bucharest in Group C before the first-seeded Netherlands face in Amsterdam

The qualifying formula secured a tournament spot for a low-ranked country that won a group at the bottom tier of the inaugural Nations League played two years ago

Currently not 65 in the FIFA world rankings, North Macedonia will be the largest foreign country in the European Championship 2020 and the second newcomer, and joins Finland

The four qualifiers were originally scheduled to take place in March, but have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic that has also forced UEFA to push Euro 2020 into next year

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Goran Pandev, North Macedonia National Team, North Macedonia, Euro 2021 Qualifiers, European Nations League

News – CA – Veteran’s goal Pandev sends North Macedonia to European Championship 2020