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Germany's Podolski crowns farewell with stunning winner over England
April 30 2017, 06:45 | Van Peters
England manager Gareth Southgate is experimenting with a back three against Germany tonight
Lukas Podolski scored the victor in his final worldwide appearance as Germany defeated England 1-0 in Dortmund.
Podolski brought the curtain down on his career in style, smashing home his 49th global goal in the 69th minute to seal victory for the world champions.
"God or whoever gave me a left foot and it has served me well over the years". "I am proud of the last 13 years", beamed Podolski, who will join Japan's Vissel Kobe next season. "We should have had the game won, really", Southgate said.
Podolski led the side out as captain for the first time in his last global, and he hammered the ball to the top right corner from 25 meters (yards) to win it with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Germany's Sami Khedira was ruled out hours before the game, joining a long list of absentees, including Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler, Mario Gomez and Mesut Ozil, with coach Joachim Loew forced to make changes. Germany 'keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was relieved to see the Liverpool midfielder's effort crash back off the far post.
Southgate's three-man defence were not given too many problems by Podolski until his stunning 69th-minute strike.
A Kroos pass found replacement Andre Schuerrle, who laid the ball off for Podolski, whose bullet shot off his left foot gave Hart no chance from 25 metres out.
Podolski made a lengthy speech before kick-off after being honoured with an on-pitch presentation and a mosaic in the stands, but England threatened to spoil the party as they produced the better performance for much of the match.
Rooney, who is England's all-time record scorer with 53 goals in 119 caps, has previously stated his intention is to retire after the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation. "For us, the objective was served".
The 31-year-old 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. "Now they have a good team, great players, good guys, good characters, good style".
Podolski's captained a somewhat experimental Germany team, with the up-and-coming likes of Timo Werner, Julian Weigl and Julian Brandt all getting starts.
"It is not as if we are carrying those creative players".
"I couldn't have written a better script", Mueller said.
And while football fans tend to have short memories, his goal on Wednesday will ensure he is remembered for some time to come.
"We showed as a team in the second half that we still have the quality, even when a few of us are missing". "Of course, it was the flawless end", said the former Arsenal player.
"He'll enjoy his night, we won't particularly, but pleased for him and we've got enough positives to take from the game moving forwards". "Special players deserve a farewell like that".