Podolski signs off in style

Lucas Podolski brought the curtain down on a glittering international career with a stunning winner in his final game as Germany beat England 1-0 at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.

The script seemed to be written for the FC Koln youth product, who retires one goal shy of the 50-mark, in his 130th appearance for Die Mannschaft.

The Three Lions will feel aggrieved to have lost the friendly as they held the upper hand for a better part of the contest and struck the post through Adam Lallana.

For once, the Germans were made to chase the ball in the first half as Gareth Southgate's side controlled proceedings in Dortmund.

The visitors created the majority of the chances in the opening 45 minutes, and they threatened for the first time on seven minutes when Michael Keane flashed a shot over the crossbar from eight yards out after a low corner dropped at his feet.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen was left with a comfortable save after Eric Dier steered a header straight at the keeper from a 26th-minute corner, while the woodwork came to his rescue five minutes later.

Lallana intercepted a pass inside his own area and surged towards goal from the left before firing a low shot against the base of the right post with his left foot.

The world champions' first opportunity came to Podolski on 37 minutes as Sane cut in from the left and squared the ball off to the forward, who lashed over from just ouside the box.

England's best chance fell to Dele Alli four minutes later, with Vardy playing him in on the right, but the Tottenham star fired straight at Ter Stegen from 12 yards out.

Julian Brandt went close to breaking the deadlock early in the second half from a half-volley that flew just wide of the left post, after a corner had been cleared into his path, while Podolski was inches away from connecting with Toni Kroos' ball over the top on 54 minutes.

Ter Stegen then got a strong hand onto Dier's effort from a tight angle on the right moments later, before Andre Schurrle cut inside from the right and fired a left-footed shot a few feet wide of the left post on 61 minutes.

But Podolski would rise to the occasion eight minutes later as received the ball from Schurrle and lined up a trademark shot that arrowed into the top-right corner of the net from 22 yards out.

The goal lifted Joachim Low's men as they showed more purpose on the ball for the remainder of the second half, with Joe Hart preventing England from falling further behind on 73 minutes as he denied Leroy Sane from inside the area with a good save.

The game would fizzle out somewhat after both teams made numerous substitutions in the closing stages.

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