Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund, Germany
Lukas Podolski’s final international appearance for Germany ended in perfect fashion as the former FC Köln, Arsenal and current Galatasaray forward lashed home the winner at the Signal-Iduna-Park in Dortmund, on what was his 130th international cap, to inflict a first defeat for Gareth Southgate as England manager.
The 31-year old German bowed-out in style, firing an unstoppable second-half strike into the top-corner from outside the area after Adam Lallana had earlier hit the post in the first-half.
The visitors started well and thought they should have had a penalty in the fifth minute when Jamie Vardy went down after a challenge with keeper Marc-André Ter Stegen, but the striker looked to have initiated the contact with the referee unmoved.
A minute later England had a great chance when a Ryan Bertrand corner fell to Michael Keane, but he fired the ball just over the bar.
In the 30th minute the visitors very nearly took the lead when Lallana seized onto a loose pass from Joshua Kimmich and surged forward before firing an effort that beat Ter Stegen but hit the inside of the post and stayed out.
Eleven minutes later the Three Lions should have taken the lead when Vardy played Dele Alli through on-goal, the youngster had just Ter-Stegen to beat but the keeper smothered the effort away.
Germany started the second-half in the ascendancy and had a good chance to take the lead two minutes into the restart when a deflected Toni Kroos corner was punched by Joe Hart into the path of Julian Brandt, but he fired the loose ball inches wide.
Six minutes later Germany went close when Kroos found Podolski with an inch-perfect lofted-pass but the forward just couldn’t connect with the ball.
A minute later England went close following a swift break from a Germany corner. Eric Dier received the ball before firing an effort that Ter Stegen was forced to palm away after the hosts lost possession.
In the 69th minute the hosts took the lead when Kroos found substitute André Schürrle, whose first-time pass teed up Podolski, who rifled home an unstoppable effort into the top-corner from-range. The goal was his 49th for his country.
Three minutes later the Germans went close to doubling their lead when Leroy Sané latched onto a cross-field pass and got the better of Keane before firing a powerful effort that was terrifically denied by the strong left-hand of Hart.
In he 87th minute the hosts nearly doubled their lead when Jonas Hector pulled the ball back to Schürrle, who fired an effort that deflected just wide of the far-post.
The victory was Podolski’s last with Die Mannschaft on the night he bowed out with 130 international caps and 49 goals. The defeat was Gareth Southgate’s first as England manager.