Podolski Nets Winning Goal in Last Game for Germany

01 April, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Felix Jensen

LUKAS PODOLSKI BROUGHT the curtain down on his worldwide career in spectacular fashion as he fired Germany to a 1-0 win over England.

The 31-year-old forward, who marked his 130th and final Germany appearance with a stunning victor against England on Wednesday, says he is already impressed with the improvement the nation have made under new manager Gareth Southgate.

And England's first-half dominance continued when five minutes later Lallana intercepted the ball on the halfway line and drove towards the box, only for his strike at goal to come back off the post.

Podolski then broke the deadlock with what proved to be the victor with just over 20 minutes remaining as he weaved his way through to the edge of the area before unleashing a fantastic strike into the top corner.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart was given no chance, and Podolski had a look of incredulity as he wheeled away to celebrate.

Southgate's side had looked more likely to score before Podolski struck and the players will be able to take plenty of encouragement from the performance. He'll certainly be hoping for some more clinical finishing in front of goal, especially from Vardy, who was kept relatively quiet against Germany.

However Southgate knows his team must learn, and take their chances if they are to beat the top sides: "I thought we were the better side up until their winning goal".

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Low said that his side started nervously, and praised England for their intensity all over the pitch.

"We obviously won't spend too much time thinking about it, but I was pleased for Lukas".

In many ways, particularly during the closing stages of the game and after the match, it felt less like an global friendly and more like Podolski's very own worldwide testimonial.

"It is never nice to lose and I am not someone who is overly pleased in defeat but I have to be really pleased with the way my players have played individually and in terms of the tactical system", said Southgate.

Podolski's goal arrived on 69 minutes when the 2014 World Cup victor smashed in with his powerful left foot from 25 yards which arrowed its unstoppable way into the top corner of the net.

A minute later, Keane blazed a glorious chance for a debut goal over the bar as a corner fell loose in the Germany area before Adam Lallana spurned an even better opportunity.

Southgate did not address Rooney's position directly but did ponder the possible value of an occasion such as the one in honour of Podolski."I think people recognise those who have made 100 caps, we have always given presentations for that, and people acknowledge the contribution they've made", he said.

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