Germany has put itself ugly in the qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup. The four-time world champion suffered a sensational 1-2 home defeat against North Macedonia on Wednesday in Duisburg, one of the opponents of the Dutch national team at the European Championship next summer.
North Macedonia is thus the first team in twenty years to win a World Cup qualifier against Germany. In September 2001, England won 1-5 in Munich, after which the Germans remained unbeaten for 35 qualifying matches in a row.
Germany had an excellent start on the route to Qatar with victories over Iceland (3-0) and Romania (0-1). In the on paper not too difficult home game against North Macedonia, however, it was not at all with the formation of Joachim Löw, who retires as national coach after the European Championship.
Germany’s poor game was punished by Goran Pandev just before half time. The 37-year-old attacker shot from close range after a good combination and thus gave North Macedonia a surprising 0-1 lead in Duisburg.
After the break, Germany needed a penalty from Ilkay Gündogan to level up, but even a draw proved too ambitious. Five minutes before the end, Eljif Elmas completed the sensation by making it 1-2 face to face with goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen.
Due to the defeat, Germany loses the lead in group J to Armenia, which won 3-2 against Romania. The Armenians have the maximum score of nine points after three matches. Germany, like North Macedonia, has six points and thus shares the second place.
England escapes by late goal Maguire
England narrowly escaped the first point loss in group I. A hit by Harry Maguire five minutes before the end, Poland won 2-1 at Wembley, which had to do without the injured Robert Lewandowski.
Maguire saved his teammate John Stones, who had made a hopeless mistake in the Polish equalizer. The Manchester City defender lost the ball to Jakub Moder, who made it 1-1 after a combination with Arek Milik. Halfway through, England led 0-1 by a utilized penalty from Harry Kane.
England is in excellent shape with nine points from three matches. Hungary, which won 1-4 against Albania, is number two with seven points.