Germany loses a World Cup qualifying football game against North Macedonia

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On Wednesday, Germany was defeated 2-1 by North Macedonia in a World Cup qualification match for the first time in 20 years.

Germany leveled after Goran Pandev’s opening goal in first-half stoppage time but was unable to react to Eljif Elmas’ 85th-minute winner for North Macedonia, who pushed ahead of Germany in Group J.

Pandev scored the game’s first goal after Germany’s defense lost sight of the veteran Genoa forward.

However, after Leroy Sane was taken down by Ezgjan Alioski, Ilkay Gundogan equalized from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute.

North Macedonia should have had a penalty for an alleged handball by Emre Can at a corner, but the referee missed it. For qualifiers, there is no video analysis scheme.

Soon after, Timo Werner blew Germany’s best chance to go forward, scuffing a shot wide when one-on-one with the goalkeeper off Gundogan’s breakaway pass.

North Macedonia made the breakthrough when Germany pushed for another goal.

As Pandev pulled away from the German defenders, Arijan Ademi squared the ball between Antonio Rudiger’s eyes, creating room for Elmas to score past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Germany has gone 35 games undefeated in World Cup qualification after a 5-1 loss to England in Munich in 2001 and had won the previous 18 in a row.

North Macedonia has never been in a World Cup but will make their European Championship debut this year after Pandev scored the game-winning goal in a play-off against Georgia in November.

It was the last qualification game of Germany coach Joachim Low’s 15-year tenure, which ends after the European Championship in June and July.

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