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Chelsea

Joachim Low urged to quit Germany early after shock North Macedonia defeat


Joachim Loew claimed Timo Werner had to score his golden chance against North Macedonia after Germany suffered another humiliating defeat.

The Chelsea striker brought his club form to the four-time World Cup winners when he fluffed his shot from nine yards with the score at 1-1.

North Macedonia netted the winner five minutes later to end Germany’s 35-match unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers dating back to losing to England in 2001. Die Mannschaft has lost only three World Cup home qualifiers in history.

The £47m striker Werner has scored only twice since November – and his error summed up how the next generation of young German stars have failed to fill the boots of their illustrious predecessors.

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LEIPZIG, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Joachim Loew of Germany reacts prior to the international friendly match between Germany and Czech Republic at Red Bull Arena on November 11, 2020 in Leipzig, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Loew said: “He usually has to score that – no question.”

The 2014 World Cup winner Loew was already leaving his job after this summer’s European Championships following the 6-0 Nations League defeat to Spain in November. The pressure has now increased for the 61-year-old to go immediately. Top-selling newspaper Bild ran the headline: “It’s finished, Jogi”.

Loew has tried to rejuvenate the squad since going out in the first round of the 2018 World Cup and controversially omitted Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels.

Germany are now in third place behind Armenia and North Macedonia in Group J. And there is a growing fear that Loew’s team faces more pain at this summer’s Euros when they play World Cup holders France and defending champions Portugal in their first two group games.

“We will review everything,” promised the coach.

Ilkay Gündogan, who scored a penalty and set up Werner’s chance, admitted: “Such a defeat cannot happen. It felt like they only appeared in front of our goal twice and scored both times. That was too easy. This does not meet our ambitions and it cannot be explained. We have to find our form for the Euros.”

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