Football: Germany stunned by world's 65th-ranked side North Macedonia in World Cup qualifiers

North Macedonia have scored an 85th-minute winner to stun hosts Germany 2-1 in World Cup qualifying, as the Balkan country celebrated their greatest international football victory.

Eljif Elmas slotted the winner, after the four-time world champions had controlled the game, but struggled to convert chances against the disciplined North Macedonians, ranked 65th in the world.

Germany suffered their first home World Cup qualifying loss in 20 years in coach Joachim Low's last qualifying game, before he steps down after this year's European Championship.

"This cannot ever happen," Germany captain Ilkay Gundogan says. "They had two chances, twice in front of our goal, and twice they scored.

"It was just too easy. We dominated, had our chances but scored just once. 

"To leave a man twice unmarked in the box should not happen."

Despite Germany's 70 percent possession in the first half and Leon Goretzka's shot onto the crossbar, the visitors scored, when 37-year-old Goran Pandev was left unmarked in the box to tap home in first-half stoppage time.

The Germans boxed their opponents in their own half, but apart from a Serge Gnabry effort, they had little to show for it, until Leroy Sane was brought down in the box.

Gundogan's 63rd-minute penalty drew the hosts level, but despite late pressure and a golden chance for Timo Werner 10 minutes from time, Germany could not find a winner.

They were lucky not to concede a penalty for an Emre Can handball, but were still punished for not making their dominance count, when Elmas found space in the box to turn in a cutback for the winner.

Armenia lead Group J and North Macedonia head Germany for second on goal difference, three points back. 

Germany's chances of qualifying for Qatar 2022 are far from over, with seven more games remaining in group play.