Germany forward Lukas Podolski topped his international swan melody with an incredible goal to give the World Cup title holders a 1-0 triumph over England in an international friendly game.
The 31-year-old who captained the team surprisingly for the first time from the start, couldn’t have sought after a more fitting finale to his 13-year Germany professional career, as he thundered in the winner in the 69th minute to take his goal count to 49 in 130 international appearances.
Podolski strike guaranteed an ambitious England endured a bitter annihilation having looked sharper than their hosts for a significant part of the game and hit the woodwork in the first half of the pulsating encounter.
England greatest scoring opportunity came after 30 minutes when Adam Lallana exploited a Joshua Kimmich misstep to charge through but, with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to beat, his low, calculated shot bobbed off the post.
The Three Lions, who top World Cup qualifying Group F, will host Lithuania at Wembley on Sunday while Germany, five points clear at the top of Group C will travel down to Azerbaijan.
Germany’s Sami Khedira was ruled out hours before the game, joining a considerable rundown of absentees, including Mesut Ozil, Mario Gomez, Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler and Mesut Ozil, with coach Joachim Loew compelled to roll out few changes.
The guests couldn’t keep up their possession game plan and pace into the second half before Podolski thundered home a shot from 25 meters out with his celebrated left foot to give England shot-stopper Joe Hart zero chance.