Soccer

Chelsea’s Timo Werner criticised by Germany manager Joachim Low for horror miss in shock qualifying defeat

Germany manager Joachim Low has criticised Timo Werner after the striker missed an open goal from eight yards in the country’s shock 2-1 defeat by North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday.

With the score 1-1 in the 80th minute, Werner failed to connect with Ilkay Gundogan’s cross, missing the ball with his left foot from the centre of the goal.

Eljif Elmas scored five minutes later to give North Macedonia the lead, punishing Werner’s miss as Germany fell to their first home defeat in World Cup qualifying in 20 years.

Werner has struggled for goals since moving to Premier League side Chelsea last summer in a £48million move from Red Bull Leipzig.

“He must put that ball away, no question at all. He has shown here he can score goals,” said Low, who will be stepping down as Germany manager after Euro 2020 this summer.

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“But he doesn’t hit the ball right with his left foot, if he makes a clean contact with the ball it’s a goal.”

Werner scored 28 Bundesliga goals in his final season at Leipzig but has managed just five at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this campaign, although the striker’s performances have improved since manager Thomas Tuchel took charge in January.

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