Germany's Lukas Podolski leaves global football with memorable strike against England

The night belonged to former Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski, who marked his 130th and final worldwide appearance with a farewell goal to remember as he netted a stunning second-half victor - his 49th strike for Germany.

Southgate's three-man defence were not given too many problems by Podolski until his stunning 69th-minute strike. Florian Kringe's cross from the right was headed beyond Mathias Schober by a fresh-faced teenager few beyond the shadow of Cologne's world-famous Dom had heard of. Evidently we are also still in an age when many England followers feel compelled to boo the German national anthem.

Germany famously won the 2014 World Cup after obliterating Brazil in the semi-finals, while they've finished in the top three in each of the last three European Championships.

Podolski believes England captain Wayne Rooney deserves a similar send-off for his last worldwide match. It gives you goose bumps. "I am proud of the last 13 years", beamed Podolski, who will join Japan's Vissel Kobe next season. Low also felt that the match was good for the Germans as England tested them throughout the night.

What they could not do was find a goal to supplement some bright, inventive attacking play in and around the penalty area and that always risked the kind of moment that Podolski produced to say his goodbyes, 30 yards from Joe Hart's goal.

"It's never nice to lose, but I have to be pleased with the way the players played and how the tactical system worked".

New formation works wonders "The system suits the players that we've got, particularly the likes of Dele and Adam Lallana".

Even when winning his 130th cap, Podolski was able to summon the ability to deliver a fairy-tale ending for his worldwide career - though delivering when it matters is what the Germans are so good at.

Fairy tale finish for Podolski "There were a couple of chances in both halves". "It has cleared up a lot of things, it has helped a lot of players, but it has helped the coaching staff in particular to where we are going on Sunday".

Southgate did not select him for the Germany game, or Sunday's qualifier in Lithuania, revealing his lack of playing time at Manchester United, and competition from younger legs, were the reasons rather than injury.

Southgate picked out Michael Keane for special acclaim on a night when the Burnley defender played as one of three centre-halves.

"We lost our shape in a little spell towards the end of the game and they had a bit more control, but for the majority of the game we were the better team".

  • Julie Sanders


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