Germany Manager stunned by North Macedonia in rare World Cup qualifier home defeat

Germany manager Joachim Low slammed striker Timo Werner’s close-range miss as the four-time World Cup-winners suffered a wonderful Qatar 2022 home qualifying loss to North Macedonia on Wednesday in Duisburg.

Germany fell back right before half-time when 37-year-old Goran Pandev was once left unmarked in the box and beat keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who changed team captain Manuel Neuer in goal.

Ikay Gundogan equalized from the penalty spot and Chelsea striker Werner had the chance to put Germany in front, only to scuff his shot when given the opportunity with a superb chance inside the penalty box. North Macedonia sealed the historical win when Eljif Elmas made it 2-1 with 5 minutes remaining

“He ought to put that ball away, no question at all,” Joachim Low stated on RTL after the match. “He has proven right here he can score goals.

“But he does not hit the ball properly with his left foot, if he makes a clean contact with the ball it is a goal.”

Low, who has been Germany manager since 2006 and won the 2014 World Cup, will depart his position after the 2021 European Championship. This was his first-ever defeat in a World Cup qualifier with Germany.

Germany had only ever lost two World Cup qualifiers in their whole history, having previously lost to Portugal in 1985 and England in 2001.

“This defeat is on us today,” Low said. “The disappointment is massive if you lose like that.”

Manchester City’s Gundogan added: “We must no longer lose against such an opponent. I cannot provide an explanation for it.”

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