North Macedonia scored an 85th-minute winner to condemn Germany to a surprise 2-1 loss at the Schauinsland-Reisen Arena in Duisburg on Wednesday.
The East European nation ranked 65th on FIFA’s rankings took the 13th-ranked four-time World Cup winners to the cleaner in the Qatar 2022 qualifiers with Goran Pandev’s opener and Elmer’s winning strike.
The loss is Germany’s first in 35 matches and brings an end to a 20-year unbeaten run at home.
Despite Germany having 70% possession in the first period, 37 years old Pandev who was left unmarked tapped in from close range to rock the host at halftime.
While Ilkay Gundogan restored parity through a penalty kick earned by Leroy Sane, Germany could not kick on to the winner, striker Timo Werner adding a miss from five yards with only the keeper to beat into his book of horrible misses in recent times.
North Macedonia instead got the winner five minutes from time when Elmer got on the end of a cutback to slot home beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen in goal.
Die Mannschaft sit third with six points in Group J of qualifiers, level with North Macedonia and three points behind Armenia after three matches.
The match is Germany coach Joachim Löw’s last qualifier before he leaves the position on expiration of his contract in the summer after Euro 2020 and the 2014 World Cup winning coach expressed his disappointment at the result.
“This is bitterly disappointing. We were not fresh enough, we made mistakes. When we played quickly we were dangerous but we did not find the tools to be really threatening. Overall, it was disappointing to lose like that at home.”