Germany suffered a shock 2-1 loss against North Macedonia in the European FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday.
The loss has left coach Joachim Low's team in third place in Group J of the European FIFA World Cup qualifiers behind Armenia, who have won all three games, and North Macedonia. This was Germany’s first defeat in a World Cup qualifier since 2001.
While the team is still rebuilding, the loss is an unacceptable result. Germany were lethargic and played like there was nothing at stake. North Macedonia, on the other hand, were on top of their game.
Another embarrassing defeat for Germany
Despite Germany dominating possession, it was the minnows who took the lead after veteran striker Goran Pandev opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time. Germany equalized in the 63rd minute when Ilkay Gundogan converted from the penalty spot, but North Macedonia grabbed a late winner when Eljif Elmas scored with just five minutes to go.
The highlight of the game was Timo Werner’s unpardonable miss with the scores level at 1-1. But the Chelsea forward’s howler shouldn't overshadow the shambolic display by coach Joachim Low's team.
Germany have now succumbed to an embarrassing loss in two straight international breaks. They suffered a humiliating 6-0 loss to Spain last November.
The team was seemingly back on track following wins over Iceland and Romania in World Cup qualifiers. But the defeat to North Macedonia has brought the team back to square one.
Joachim Low’s legacy being ripped apart
Germany coach Joachim Low has already announced that he’ll be leaving his post after UEFA Euro 2020. However, his legacy could fall to pieces even before the tournament begins.
The 61-year-old has been in charge of Die Mannschaft since 2006, leading them to glory in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But the team has been a pale shadow of itself in recent years.
Germany were eliminated from the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the group stages and have also been inconsistent in qualifiers.
"This defeat is on us today. The disappointment is big if you lose like that,” Low admitted after Germany’s humiliating loss at the hands of North Macedonia, as quoted by ESPN.
This latest defeat is another dent in Low’s legacy, which risks being ripped apart if Germany’s slump continues into the Euros.