Eljif Elmas (Nordmazedonien) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Germany and North Macedonia on March 31, 2021 in Duisburg, Germany Image credit: Getty Images
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2022 WCQ: Late North Macedonia goal stuns Germany in Duisburg after Timo Werner miss

A dramatic late winner from Napoli midfielder Eljif Elmas saw North Macedonia stun former world champions Germany 2-1 in Duisburg in World Cup qualifying Group J on Wednesday evening.

North Macedonia had taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when their 37-year-old captain Goran Pandev showed every inch of experience to be in the right place at the right time to poke home a low cross.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan levelled matters with a penalty as Germany looked to avoid embarrassment.

Their best chance to take the lead came when Chelsea striker Timo Werner had the goal at his mercy as the ball was played across to him. The forward fluffed his lines, however, an all too familiar sight for Blues fans this season.

Things went from bad to worse for Germany late on when Elmas was allowed to drift into the box without being picked up and he tapped home the winner.

Remarkably it puts the 2014 world champions third in the group, level with North Macedonia and three points behind leaders Armenia, who have started with a 100 per cent record.

Germany manager Joachim Low has already confirmed that he will stand down at the end of Euro 2021.

“We’re obviously thoroughly disappointed,” Low said to the media after the game.

WE LOOKED TIRED, MADE MISTAKES AND WERE SLOW GOING FORWARD.

“Our opponents sat deep and we struggled to find a way to break them down.”

It is the first World Cup qualifier Low has ever lost and only the third Germany have lost in their history.

The last time Germany lost a World Cup qualifier was England’s stunning 5-1 win in 2001. Comments

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