2022 World Cup Qualifying - UEFA, Group Stage
  • Aleksandar Trajkovski (22')
  • Enis Bardhi (36', 66' PEN, 90' PEN)
  • Milan Ristovski (79')

North Macedonia rout Armenia to boost World Cup hopes

North Macedonia kept alive their hopes of clinching a World Cup playoff berth after an Enis Bardi hat trick and a goal each by Aleksandar Trajkovski and Milan Ristovski sealed a 5-0 win at Armenia in their Group J qualifier on Thursday.

North Macedonia moved to second in the group on 15 points from nine games, two more than third-placed Romania who host Iceland later.

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Trajkovski fired North Macedonia ahead in the 22nd minute when he tapped the ball in from close range before Bardi made it 2-0 with a crisp low shot from 20 metres after a flowing move.

Bardi drilled a penalty into the top corner after he was fouled midway through the second half before Ristovski unleashed a scorcher from the edge of the area into the far corner in the 79th minute.

North Macedonia captain Bardi capped a fine individual performance with his second spot-kick in the 90th minute after Ezgjan Alioski was hauled down in the penalty area.

Group leaders Germany have sealed an automatic berth in next year's tournament in Qatar with 21 points from eight games.