Podolski, in swan song, leads Germany to 1-0 win over England

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Dortmund, March 23 (IANS) Forward Lukas Podolski ended his long international football career in fine style, scoring a tremendous goal to lead Germany to a 1-0 victory over England in a friendly here.

The forward on Wednesday boosted his goal total for Germany to 49 in 131 matches, including the side’s triumphant 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, reports Efe.

Though the hosts ultimately prevailed, the English were the better side for much of the contest at the Signal Iduna Park against a German side stacked with younger players.

Apart from goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and the back line, Podolski and midfielder Toni Kroos were the only experienced internationals on the pitch for Germany.

The home side faced the prospect of falling behind in the sixth minute as the referee mulled awarding a penalty for a foul by Ter Stegen against Jamie Vardy.

England’s first real chance came in the 31st minute, when Adam Lallana intercepted a poor pass by Joshua Kimmich and raced toward the German goal. Ter Stegen came out to cut down the angle and Lallana’s shot bounced harmlessly off the far post.

The German keeper had to be sharp 10 minutes later to turn aside a shot from point-blank range by Dele Alli.

While the Germans improved in the second, Ter Stegen was tested again, this time by a shot from Eric Dier.

It was only after Podolski’s strike in the 69th minute that German took control and saw out the match.

–IANS

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