FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Germany suffer shock loss to North Macedonia

FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Germany suffer shock loss to North Macedonia
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Germany suffer shock loss to North Macedonia

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers – Germany suffers shock loss to North Macedonia: 4 time world champion Germany suffer shock home World Cup qualifier loss to North Macedonia. Germany were defeated 2-1 by little known Macedonian team.

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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Germany suffer shock loss to North Macedonia

North Macedonia scored an 85th-minute winner through Eljif Elmas to stun hosts Germany 2-1 in their World Cup Group J qualifier on Wednesday as the Balkan country celebrated their greatest international victory.

Elmas slotted in after the four-times world champions had controlled the game but struggled to convert chances against the disciplined North Macedonians, ranked 65th in the world, and came into the game as +2800 underdogs.

It was Germany’s first home World Cup qualifying loss in 20 years in coach Joachim Low’s last qualifying game in charge ahead of his departure following this summer’s European Championship. “This is bitterly disappointing,” Low said.

Despite Germany’s 70% possession in the first half and Leon Goretzka’s shot onto the crossbar, it was the visitors who scored when 37-year-old Goran Pandev was left unmarked in the box to tap home in the first-half stoppage time.

The Germans had their opponents boxed in their own half but apart from a Serge Gnabry effort had little to show for it until Leroy Sane was brought down in the box.

Gundogan’s 63rd-minute penalty drew the hosts’ level but despite late pressure and a golden chance for Timo Werner 10 minutes from time, Germany could not find a winner.

North Macedonia, ranked 65th in the world, snatched victory with five minutes remaining when Elmas struck from close range.

Chelsea forward Timo Werner missed a glorious chance to score for Joachim Low’s side before North Macedonia’s winner but somehow fired wide from close range.

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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Germany suffer shock loss to North Macedonia

‘We’ve never beaten a team with so many titles’

It was a first defeat in Group J for Germany and the first goals they had conceded in qualifying.

The loss also ended their 35-game unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying, stretching back to their 5-1 defeat by England in 2001.

“This is bitterly disappointing,” Low said.

“We were not fresh enough, we made mistakes. When we played quickly we were dangerous but we did not find the tools to be really threatening.

“Overall, it was disappointing to lose like that at home.”