Armenia moved closer to winning their first-ever promotion to a major international soccer tournament after beating visitors from FYR Macedonia in a Euro-2012 qualifier on Friday night.
Vardan Minasian’s side dominated play throughout the match in front of a capacity crowd of some 15,000 at the Hanrapetakan Stadium in Yerevan in which it needed a victory to stay competitive in the ending qualifying tournament.
Two goals from striker Marcos Pizzelli and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitarian gave Armenia a comfortable lead at half time. The home side scored two more goals against ten-man Macedonia in the second half thanks to forwards Gevorg Ghazarian and Artur Sarkisov and conceded one, with the scoreboard showing the final result of 4-1.
The spectacular victory keeps Armenia’s chances alive for qualifying from their Group B that also includes the teams of Russia, the Republic of Ireland, Slovakia and Andorra.
The latest victory – the fifth during the current qualifying campaign and third in a row – sparked more jubilant scenes in central Yerevan where numerous soccer fans drove around in cars, waving national flags, chanted ‘Armenia!’ and danced.
Armenia now need a win when they travel to Dublin to play against the Republic of Ireland on October 11 to finish at least second in the six-nation group and hope for a further qualification through playoffs.