North Macedonia enjoyed a historic moment on Sunday evening as Goran Pandev scored their first-ever ever EURO goal, but it was not enough as they went down 3-1 against Austria in their opening EURO 2020 match.
It was Macedonia's first-ever major tournament, and they managed to score with their first shot on target through their national icon.
Stefan Lainer gave Austria the lead in the 18th minute with a brilliant shot into the left side of the goal after being released inside the box by a superb lofted pass from Marcel Sabitzer.
Macedonia then hit back less than 10 minutes later after some poor defending from the Austrians.
The defender ended up losing possession, allowing Pandev to pick up the ball before slotting it into the back of the net to make it 1:1.
Goran Pandev is 37. He made his debut for North Macedonia 20 years ago this month. His nation had never reached a major tournament before.— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 13, 2021
But he’s here. And he’s scored. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/rh2jroEJ4a
The Austrians kept knocking on Macedonia's door in the second period, and the second goal finally arrived in the 73rd minute.
Michael Gregoritsch met a perfect cross from David Alaba deep inside the box and controlled it with a nice first touch before producing an accurate strike into the bottom left corner.
There was time for a third late on, as Konrad Laimer passed the ball to the feet of Marko Arnautovic, who had an empty net in front of him and had no problems in tapping the ball in.
The win saw Austria ascend to the top of Group C, with the second match between Netherlands and Ukraine set for later in the evening.