Armenia beats Macedonia 4-1 in Euro 2012 qualifier
Armenia beat 10-man Macedonia 4-1 in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Friday to stay in contention for a major event for the first time in its history.
Armenia, which is unbeaten at home since losing a Group B qualifying opener to Ireland 1-0 last September, dominated the game.
Yura Movsisyan, who set up three of the goals, hit the post nine minutes into the game - the home side's first scoring opportunity. He broke into the box from the right past two defenders and sent a cross for Marcos Pizzelli to open the scoring from close range in the 34th.
Six minutes later, Shaktar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan sent a left-footed drive from 26 meters (yards) to double the lead.
Macedonia's Goran Popov forced Roman Berezovsky into a save with powerful shot from outside the box in the 42nd - the visitors' only shot on goal in the first half.
''We moved slowly in the first half,'' Armenia coach Vardan Minasyan said. ''I expected a tough match but after we scored the opener, we relaxed and played our game.''
Macedonia was reduced to 10 men when captain Velice Sumulikoski was sent off for a second yellow card in the 53rd minute - both cards for poor tackling.
Gevorg Ghazaryan added Armenia's third in the 69th off Movsisyan's cross from inside the box.
Movsisyan also had two scoring opportunities - both one-on-one with Martin Bogatinov - but shot wide.
Vance Sikov headed in Macedonia's consolation goal in the 86th off a corner kick. It was Armenia's first goal conceded in three matches, a stretch in which the team scored 11 times.
Artur Sarkisov completed the scoring in injury time after Movsisyan picked up the ball near the box.
''This team (Armenia) is very impressive,'' Macedonia coach John Toshack said. ''They had a good chance of qualifying.''
Armenia has 17 points from 9 games. In later matches, Ireland, on 14 points, takes on winless Andorra, while group leader Russia, on 17 points, is at Slovakia, which has 14.
Macedonia is second last with 7 points.
Armenia will be at Ireland to wrap up qualifying on Tuesday.
Armenia: Roman Berezovsky, Artur Yuspashyan, Sargis Hovsepyan, Karlen Mkrtchyan (Artur Sarkisov, 71), Artur Edigaryan, Marcos Pizzelli (Edgar Manucharyan, 63), Gevorg Ghazaryan (Edgar Malakyan, 83), Yura Movsisyan, Valeri Aleksanyan, Henrik Mkhitaryan, Levon Hayrapetyan.
Macedonia: Martin Bogatinov, Vance Sikov, Goran Popov, Nikolce Noveski, Ivan Trickovski, Velice Sumulikoski, Muhamed Demiri, Muarem Muarem (Mario Gjurovski, 46), Filip Ivanovski, Daniel Georgievski (Vlade Lazarevski, 51), Mirko Ivanovski (Igor Mitreski, 60).