North Macedonia scored an 85th-minute winner by Eljif Elmas to knock out Germany 2-1 in their World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, celebrating their biggest international victory.
Elmas signed on after the four-time world champions controlled the game but struggled to create chances against the disciplined North Macedonians, ranked 65th in the world.
It was Germany’s first World Cup qualifying loss at home in 20 years, since being beaten 5-1 by England, and coach Joachim Lowe’s last qualifying game. in charge before his departure after the European Championship this summer.
Despite Germany owning 70 percent in the first half and Leon Goretzka’s shot on the crossbar, it was the visitors who scored when Goran Pandev, 37, was not scored in the box for knocking at home in the first half timeout.
A penalty from Ilkay Gundogan in the 63rd minute drew the hosts’ level, but despite late pressure and a golden chance for Timo Werner with 10 minutes left, Germany could not find a winner.
Instead, it was Elmas who scored to take North Macedonia to six points, tied with Germany in Group J and three behind Armenia.
Elsewhere, after trailing 2-1 in the 87th minute, Armenia scored twice to beat 10 men Romania 3-2 for their third consecutive World Cup qualifying victory. Iceland beat too Liechtenstein 4-1 to end a seven-game losing streak.
Spain sees off Kosovo
Spain clinched a convincing 3-1 home win for Kosovo, although goalkeeper Unai Simon had a night to forget, committing a huge blunder away from his zone to cost his team a goal.
Dani Olmo gave Spain a deserved 34th-minute lead with a tricky chip to add to their stoppage winner against Georgia in their previous outing, while Ferran Torres shot in the second goal two minutes away. later.
Spain looked in total control as they dominated possession and played with determination, but they got Kosovo back into the game in the 70th minute when Simon lost the ball after rushing out of its surface and that Besar Halimi mercilessly leaped and marked from a distance.
The home side quickly recovered their two-goal cushion five minutes later thanks to a header from Gerard Moreno and took the win to lead Group B with seven points after three games.
Sweden are second with six points and a game in hand while Greece, who drew 1-1 with Georgia in the other group game on Wednesday remained in third place with two points, one ahead of Georgia.
France overtakes Bosnia
Antoine Griezmann struck again as France extended their lead in the Group D World Cup qualifier to four points with an unconvincing 1-0 away win over Bosnia Herzegovina.
Griezmann, who scored in last Wednesday’s opener against Ukraine, netted the world champions seven points in three games.
Ukraine, who were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Kazakhstan, have three points with Finland on two points in two matches. Bosnia, which has not won in its last 11 outings, is in fourth place with one point.
France will resume their World Cup qualifying campaign at home against Bosnia on September 1, following the European Championships.
Italy remains perfect
Stefano Sensi and Ciro Immobile’s goals won Italy a 2-0 win over Lithuania while Roberto Mancini’s team have won three wins in three games in Group C.
Mancini made 10 changes to the squad that beat Bulgaria 2-0 on Sunday and it showed as the visitors struggled to break Lithuania on their artificial turf in the first half.
After the break, however, Italy picked up speed, with half-time substitute Sensi shooting the first game two minutes into the second half, before Immobile converted a time penalty to ‘stop to make sure of the three points.
Another comfortable victory keeps Italy at the top of their group with nine points after a sixth straight victory as the Azzurri have not conceded a single goal in this round.
Ian Baraclough is still on the hunt for his first win as a North Ireland manager after a disappointing 0-0 draw at home for Bulgaria the night Steven Davis won his 126th record-breaking cap for his country.
The Belfast encounter had been described as a ‘must win’ but the hosts could so easily have lost without the heroism of Bailey Peacock-Farrell in the stoppage time as he prevented point blank heads from Dimitar Iliev.
Northern Ireland came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when Stuart Dallas’ header hit the crossbar while Daniel Naumov blocked Gavin Whyte’s volley in the second half.
The result leaves Baraclough’s men in third place in Group C of European qualifying for the World Cup with one point in their first two games while Bulgaria occupy fourth place.
England beats Poland
Harry Maguire came home late to England to spare the blushes of defensive partner John Stones in a 2-1 World Cup qualifier victory Poland at Wembley.
Stones had been taken in to give Poland an unlikely equalizer thanks to Jakub Moder in the 58th minute, after Harry Kane’s penalty in the first half (19) put England in charge.
It was an all-too-familiar mistake from Stones and looked like a costly mistake against an otherwise toothless Polish side, which was sorely missed by injured Robert Lewandowski.
However, the Manchester City defender was bailed out by his other center-back Maguire, when the Manchester United player hit Stones knockdown in a corner with five minutes left.
Hungary remain two points behind leaders England in Group I, in second place after winning 4-1 at Andorra in pursuit of the only automatic qualification place. Albania passed over Poland to third place by beating San Marino 2-0.
Great victories for Scotland, Denmark
John McGinn has scored twice Scotland beat the Faroe Islands 4-0 to secure their first World Cup qualifying victory on the board.
McGinn applied the finishing touches to a smooth seventh-minute attack to give Scotland an early lead at Hampden Park, and the Aston Villa midfielder scored his 10th international goal early in the second half to give control to the Scots.
Che Adams scored his international goal on time with Scotland’s third, before Ryan Fraser completed the rout with a far post header from Andy Robertson’s exquisite cross – his third goal in three successive internationals.
Scotland move to second place in Group F, four points behind the Danish leader, with a victory in their last competitive outing before Euro 2020, which is promising on the horizon.
Substitute Andreas Skov Olsen scored twice in a scintillating second half as Denmark won three of three World Cup qualifying victories with a 4-0 demolition of Austria.
Denmark, who crushed Moldova 8-0 on Sunday, lead the table with nine points with 12 goals scored and none conceded. Scotland are second with five points, one ahead of Israel and Austria.
After a close first half in which Joakim Maehle came close to breaking the deadlock for the Danes, the game opened and Skov Olsen’s introduction for Yussuf Poulsen in the 55th minute s’ has proven to be crucial.
Three minutes after the change, midfielder Thomas Delaney broke free to the left and played a brilliant sloped pass that left Olsen with the simple task of crushing him into the net.
Maehle pulled it off two five minutes later before Martin Braithwaite kept his cool in a run against goalkeeper Alexander Schlager, leaping over the ball before squaring for Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg to score Denmark’s third.
Olsen completed the scoring with his second, hanging on to a long ball and twisting in and then out before firing a left-footed rocket past Schlager in the 74th minute.
There were also four goals in the third game of Group F as Israel beat up Moldova 4-1.