July 19, 2024
World Cup: North Macedonia stun Germany

World Cup: North Macedonia stun Germany

An 85th minute winner from Eljif Elmas ended a 35-game unbeaten run that the four-time World Cup winners had amassed, including victories in their 18 previous qualifiers.

The last time Germany lost at home in a World Cup qualifier was twenty years ago, in a 5-1 win for England in 2001.

Although the home side dominated with 70% possession in the first half, Goran Pandev put the Balkan country into the lead during stoppage time before the break.

In form Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan converted a spot kick to level the match in the 63rd minute, after former club teammate Leroy Sane had been fouled in the area.

Shortly before Elmas seized the dramatic winner for North Macedonia — sparking jubilant scenes in Duisburg’s Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena — Chelsea striker Timo Werner missed a golden chance to put the Germans in front after a cross from Gundogan.

Eljif Elmas celebrates after scoring to beat Germany in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Speaking to reporters after the game, North Macedonia coach Igor Angelovski said, “These lads have made North Macedonia proud against the winners of four World Cup titles and three European championships.”

“We’ve never beaten a team with so many titles. Now, we have to get some rest as what we have accomplished still hasn’t sunk in.”

The loss for Germany was Joachim Loew’s first as a manager in World Cup qualifying, and comes in what will be his last qualifier in charge of the team, before he steps down following this summer’s European Championship.

The loss ends a 35-game unbeaten run for Germany.
Loew said following the match, “This is bitterly disappointing. 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.”

Ahead of kick-off, German players had displayed a banner supporting human rights in a continuation of the actions of the Norway and Netherlands international teams last week, following media reports of abuses of migrant workers in Qatar as it prepares to stage the 2022 World Cup.