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Germany humbled by North Macedonia in humiliating loss


Napoli midfielder Eljif Elmas struck five minutes from time to seal one of the biggest shocks in World Cup-qualifying history as North Macedonia beat Germany 2-1.

In a great match in Duisburg, Elmas slotted the ball home from eight yards to spark amazing scenes – with his side now ahead of Germany in their group.

The four-times world champions were trailing at half-time after Genoa striker Goran Pandev’s goal.

Ilkay Gundogan levelled for Germany from a 63rd-minute penalty but after Timo Werner was guilty of missing a glorious chance to put his side ahead at 1-1, Elmas hit the winner.

Remarkably, this was Germany’s first defeat in a World Cup qualifier since they were famously beaten 5-1 by England in Munich in 2001.



This was Germany's first qualifying defeat since 2001.
This was Germany’s first qualifying defeat since 2001.

The result leaves Germany third in Group J behind the North Mecedonians and shock leaders Armenia who have maximum points from their three matches following a 3-2 victory over Romania earlier in the evening.

Coach Joachim Low, who is stepping down from his role following the European Championships, bows out with just this sole blemish on his World Cup qualifying record.

France narrowly beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-0 in Group D thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s goal.



North Macedonia players celebrate their shock win in Germany.
North Macedonia players celebrate their shock win in Germany.

In Group I, unbeaten Hungary moved into second behind England after a 4-1 win in Andorra, while Albania beat San Marino 2-0.

Italy consolidated top spot in Northern Ireland’s Group C, winning 2-0 in Lithuania.

In Group F, Denmark added to their incredible goal-scoring haul from the weekend with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Austria in Scotland’s group, while Israel won 4-1 in Moldova.





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