The 0-6 humiliation for Spain last autumn seemed like a distant memory.
But against Northern Macedonia, “Die Mannschaft” stumbled again. Suddenly the bad memories were back, and the timing could hardly have been much worse. In a little over two months, the Germans will open the European Championship against world champion France.
“So embarrassing” and “inconceivable”, writes the major newspaper Bild after the shock loss. Kicker is content to state that the result was “an unpleasant surprise”. “A tough awakening,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine reported.
Löw himself struggled to explain the defeat shortly after the final signal.
– The disappointment is enormous, and it is difficult to come up with an analysis now, the national team manager told RTL before he still came with an assessment of the match:
– This is our own fault. We looked tired and needed more healthy bones. We made too many mistakes and did not succeed in finding a way through their low defense.
Löw recently announced that he will resign as Germany coach after this summer’s European Championships. He has had the job since 2006 with long-term success (topped with World Cup gold in 2014), but the last three years have been rough.
Veteran Goran Pandev gave Northern Macedonia the lead just before the break. From the penalty spot, Ilkay Gündogan equalized to 1-1 after an hour, but in the final minutes, Elif Elmas became an unexpected match winner.
The loss was Germany’s first in a World Cup qualifier since the 1-5 match at home against England in 2001.
– This should not have happened. They were close to our goal twice and scored twice. It was too easy for them, Gündogan said.
He is clear that Germany must sharpen significantly before the European Championships.
– We really have to get in top shape by the end of May, said the Manchester City profile.
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