News : 1: 2 against North Macedonia: Big worries for Löw and his DFB-Elf – sport
The footballers and what felt like a complete delegation were jumping up and down the lawn exuberantly. The 40 or so men in jerseys and suits shouted: “Makedonia! Makedonia! Makedonia!” Car horns sounded outside, and when the bus for the North Macedonia national team pulled up at the stadium, around 200 fans sang and danced and waved their red and yellow national flags.
In Duisburg in the Ruhr area, in the melting pot of cultures, North Macedonian football experienced one of its most exciting evenings. And German football one of its most miserable: lost 1: 2 to North Macedonia, 65th in the world rankings. Such times seemed to be over four months after the 6-0 debacle in Spain and after two opening wins in the World Cup qualifiers. A clear case of Denkste.
Germany is falling behind Armenia and North Macedonia
German football is now behind Armenia and North Macedonia. At least in Group J of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Germany had won 3-0 against Iceland and 1-0 in Romania, but the Armenians also defeated these two opponents and also Liechtenstein. They are currently in the lead, followed by North Macedonia, which has a better goal difference compared to Germany.
The 1: 2 defeat was the last World Cup qualifier under Joachim Löw. A farewell that could have failed in this category. The next World Cup qualifier on September 2nd in Liechtenstein will take place under a different national coach. It will be the first international game under the new national coach. Even if Liechtenstein is one of the more solvable of all solvable tasks, the German team will then under no circumstances be allowed to afford another embarrassment. For the time being, she has no free misses in qualifying for the World Cup.
The North Macedonian Ezgjan Alioski, who played almost his entire career in Switzerland, said on RTL: “When you consider who plays in this German team and how many titles they have already won, it is unbelievable that we are 2-1 could win. “
But it is precisely this view of the German team, this rather traditionally shaped sovereignty, that has gradually been lost in the national interior view after the 2014 World Cup. The defeat against North Macedonia, which is now being declared everywhere as an inexplicable embarrassment, is hardly surprising. Eleven self-sacrificing North Macedonians, who condense the space and run tirelessly against a German team that even their own coach Löw felt tired, are, with a little bit of luck, in a position to win a game like this. Of course, a lot has to come together. And it came this time.
Leon Goretzka hit the crossbar and Serge Gnabry shot over the goal from very close range – but the most incredible scene was when substitute Timo Werner appeared alone in the 80th minute in front of the half-empty goal and bumped a very useful cross from Ilkay Gündogan next to the goal . This shot as a hit could have meant victory at the score of 2: 1. Instead, it symbolized the German team’s blatant weakness in seizing their chances.
Gündogan was only able to score a goal against North Macedonia with a penalty kick (63rd). The two goals were conceded in stoppage time in the first half and five minutes before the regular end of the second half. What do these late goals tell us?
Loew confessed that his players felt “tired”. Or, to go into detail: “We didn’t develop any speed and no fast ball passages, had too many ball losses, ran into counterattacks and then had no assignment in our own penalty area; we left the chances in the front.”
Whether the goals conceded have anything to do with the fact that the back four were arranged differently in terms of their line-up (from left to right: Robin Gosens, Emre Can, Antonio Rüdiger, Matthias Ginter) is idle to discuss. That the accomplished central defender Ginter played right wing is at least curious.
Löw can certainly live with the knowledge of weakness in a singular game. His 32nd defeat in the 192nd international match was by feeling and probably also by the threatening tabular consequences not a dramatic one. But Löw is justifiably concerned about the mood in the run-up to the European Championship, which begins on June 15 with the game against France. “We must definitely not lose our faith now,” he said in the style of a preacher, “and we must not lose the feeling that we are still able to play a good tournament.”
Before Löw has to name his extended squad for the EM on June 1st, there will be no further international match. So he can’t try anything anymore, he can only study the players in the club. “We will think hard about it,” he said repeatedly about the questions that were expected to pop up after the defeat about the return of Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller. The nomination of the two would certainly not be a disadvantage. But whether it would be the panacea that many see in it is very questionable. Löw still has two months to solve this riddle. His answer will be almost as exciting as the EM should be.