'Good heavens': Football world in awe after 'unbelievable' 20-year first

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
North Macedonia's Elfig Elmas (pictured left) celebrates a goal and (pictured right) Timo Werner looking upset.
North Macedonia defeated Germany 2-1 in the World Cup qualifier. (Getty Images)

North Macedonia has pulled off one of the biggest upsets in football history after toppling Germany in the World Cup qualifiers.

Germany, playing at home, were on a 35-match World Cup qualifying winning streak but it all came crashing down after 65th ranked North Macedonia opened the scoring in the first half.

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Goran Pandev, 37, slotted the ball home after the ball was squared past a sloppy German defence, which sparked incredible scenes.

But Germany fought back and equalised when Ilkay Gundogan slotted home a 65th minute penalty.

However, North Macedonia created history after Eljif Elmas scored in the 85 minute.

German striker Timo Wener missed a golden chance in extra-time before North Macedonia held on to spark wild celebrations.

It brought an end to a 35-match unbeaten run in World Cup qualifying for Germany - whose only other defeats at this level came in 2001 in a 5-1 thumping by England and in 1985 to Portugal, when they were still West Germany.

Fans on social media were in awe of North Macedonia's incredible upset.

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Somewhat improbably, the Germans find themselves third in Group J after three games, behind North Macedonia and 99th-ranked Armenia, who beat Romania 3-2 for a third straight win having trailed after 87 minutes in Yerevan.

Ilkay Guendogan had levelled from the spot midway through the second half but Germany struggled to create all game and had little complaint at losing.

"I don't know how to explain it," Guendogan, who was captain in the absence of the injured Toni Kroos, said.

World Cup qualifiers results

Antoine Griezmann secured World Cup holders France a 1-0 win away to Bosnia-Herzegovina while Spain beat Kosovo 3-1 at home despite a goalkeeping blunder from Unai Simon.

Italy won 2-0 at Lithuania to top Group C by three points having played once more than second-placed Switzerland.

England stayed perfect in Group I with a 2-1 home win over Poland while Denmark lead Group F with a 100 per cent record after a 4-0 romp in Austria.

In Joachim Loew's final World Cup qualifier as coach, North Macedonia secured a famous win thanks to a Goran Pandev goal and Eljif Elmas' winner five minutes from time.

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