Germany lose a World Cup qualifier for the first time in 20 years, losing 2-1 to North Macedonia.
Germany lost a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday for the first time in 20 years, with the 2014 champions being beaten 2-1 by North Macedonia.
Germany equalized after Goran Pandev’s opening goal in the first-half stoppage, but had no response from the 85th-minute winner Eljif Elmas for North Macedonia, who passed over Germany in second place in Group J.
Pandev opened the scoring when the German defense completely lost track of the veteran striker from Genoa.
However, Ilkay Gundogan equalized from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after Leroy Sane was knocked down by Ezgjan Alioski.
North Macedonia could have had an apparent handball penalty from Emre Can in a corner kick, but it was not spotted by the referee. There is no video review system for qualifying.
Soon after, Timo Werner missed Germany’s best chance to move forward, missing a very wide shot during a one-on-one with the goalkeeper over Gundogan’s pass to the pause.
As Germany pushed for another goal, it was North Macedonia that made the breakthrough.
Arijan Ademi placed the ball between Antonio Rudiger’s legs as Pandev pulled the German defenders away, leaving room for Elmas to score in front of Marc-André ter Stegen.
Germany had lost 35 unbeaten matches in World Cup qualifying since losing 5-1 to England in Munich in 2001, and had won their last 18 games in a row.
North Macedonia have never been in a World Cup, but will make their European Championship tournament debut this year after Pandev scored the winning goal in the playoffs against Georgia in November.
It was the last qualifying match in the 15-year reign of German coach Joachim Low, who resigned after the European Championship in June and July.