News : World Cup qualification – Germany loses against North Macedonia – Sport
Joachim Loew moaned and cursed. Another embarrassing bankruptcy has nipped the tender optimism in the German national team in the bud. In the completely surprising 1: 2 (0: 1) in the last EURO casting against the blatant underdog North Macedonia, the outgoing national coach conceded a defeat in the World Cup qualification for the first time – in his 33rd and last game. His successor is under immediate pressure despite the two opening wins in September.
“That mustn’t happen,” said substitute captain Ilkay Gündogan RTL: “It felt like North Macedonia was in front of our goal twice and scored twice, it was too easy.”
North Macedonia striker Goran Pandev (45 + 1) shocked Löw and his team in the last international match before the EM nomination at the end of May. After a foul on Leroy Sane, Gündogan equalized with a penalty (63.). But Elif Elmas (85th) countered for the number 65 in the world. Before that, Timo Werner had missed the great opportunity to take the lead (80th). In a handball by Emre Can (76th) in their own penalty area, the DFB team was also very lucky.
An encouragement for Löw’s last mission at the EM in the summer looks very different. After that, on the now more arduous route to Qatar 2022, on September 5, there will be a duel with the new front runner in Group J, Armenia. Before the game in Duisburg, the DFB-Elf impressed with another message for human rights: The professionals gathered behind a banner with the black, red and gold inscription “We for 30” – a renewed reference to the 30 articles of the United Nations’ human rights declaration . DFB President Fritz Keller applauded in the stands.
But the good mood was quickly gone. From the RTL-Studio asked the expert Uli Hoeneß Löw to tell his “boys” after the usury of chances in Romania (1: 0), “that the winter program at the Krone Circus is over and that it is about goals – not about tricks”. That would not have been the worst remedy against poisonous North Macedonians.
Leon Goretzka hit the crossbar early (9th), but the opponent soon adjusted well to the right-wing German game. Sane should swirl over this side, Serge Gnabry and Kai Havertz usually acted centrally. Robin Gosens, the second new member of the team next to goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, was left on his own. That was not the right playing system against the massive 5-3-2 of the guests. There was also a lack of sparkling ideas and opening runs into the depths, this time Havertz clearly fell off. The switching moments were not played out consistently enough, there was no getting through the middle. Good chances were rare, Gnabry (27th and 31st) missed two more.
North Macedonia was getting cheekier by the minute, and Neuer representative Ter Stegen warned loudly about Pandev: “Be careful with the 10!” He was still there for a tricky free kick from Ezgjan Alioski (40th). But when the captain of the “red lions” appeared completely free in front of him, Ter Stegen was defeated. The DFB-Elf looked “tired” to Hoeneß, after the break Löw vehemently demanded “Speed, speed!” – and reacted after another tenacious ten minutes with a double change: Werner and Amin Younes came in for Havertz and Gosens. But it was Sane who pulled the 911 out single-handedly. In the hectic final phase, Löw drove his team on again and again. But they could hardly get behind the tightly staggered chain of North Macedonians, and penalty area scenes were also rare.