Soccer-Evergreen Pandev scores North Macedonia’s first major tournament goal

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group C - Austria v North Macedonia - National Arena, Bucharest, Romania - June 13, 2021 North Macedonia's Goran Pandev in action with Austria's Stefan Lainerand and Xaver Schlager Pool via REUTERS/Marko Djurica

(Reuters) - Goran Pandev scored North Macedonia’s first major tournament goal in their opening Euro 2020 game against Austria on Sunday, becoming the second-oldest scorer in European Championship history.

Pandev profited from a mix-up in the Austrian defence to guide an easy finish into an unguarded net after 28 minutes, levelling the score at 1-1 after Stefan Lainer’s volleyed opener.

At the age of 37 years and 321 days, Pandev became the second-oldest player to score at the Euros, behind Austria’s Ivica Vastic, who was 38 years and 257 days old when he netted against Poland in 2008.

North Macedonia are competing in their first major tournament and Pandev’s goal came just over 20 years after his international debut on June 6, 2001.

The Genoa striker retired from international football in 2013 but was persuaded to return three years later.

He scored the goal that secured his country’s qualification in a 1-0 UEFA Nations League playoff final against Georgia in November.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Ed Osmond)

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