Germany 1-2 North Macedonia: Eljif Elmas secures stunning upset

Germany 1-2 North Macedonia: Eljif Elmas’ late winner secures stunning upset after Ilkay Gundogan’s 14th goal in 2021 had cancelled out Goran Pandev strike as hosts suffer first World Cup qualifying defeat in 20 YEARS

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 create chances against the disciplined North Macedonians, ranked 65th in the world.

It was Germany’s first home World Cup qualifying loss since they were hammered 5-1 by England in Munich in 2001. 

North Macedonia scored an 85th-minute winner through Eljif Elmas to stun Germany

It was also coach Joachim Low’s last qualifying game in charge ahead of his departure following this summer’s European Championship.

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 first half stoppage time.

A 63rd-minute Ilkay Gundogan 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.

Instead, it was Elmas who scored to lift North Macedonia to six points, level with Germany in Group J and three behind leaders Armenia.

Genoa forward Goran Pandev opened the scoring for North Macedonia in the first-half

Alioski and Bardi set up 37-year-old Pandev for the first goal just before half-time

The unmarked North Macedonia captain steered his left foot shot past Ter Stegen

Ilkay Gundogan equalised from the spot in after Sane had been fouled by Alioski

Gundogan has now scored 14 goals in his last 21 appearances for club and country

Germany goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen keeps out an effort by Arijan Ademi

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