Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Worldwide friendlies: Lukas Podolski gets dream farewell as Germany beat England

Jan Ortega | 30 March, 2017, 00:52

Podolski led the side out as captain for the first time in his last worldwide, and he hammered the ball to the top right corner from 25 meters (yards) to win it with just over 20 minutes remaining.

Until that point, a youthful, experimental England side controlled large parts of the game at the Signal Iduna Park, Adam Lallana hitting the post in the first half as the visitors failed to convert their dominance into goals.

The results: Germany 1 (Podolski 69) bt England 0; Czech Republic 3 (Horava 48-pen, Jankto 64, Krmencik 79) bt Lithuania 0; Cyprus 3 (Mytidis 56, Katedaris 62, Christofi 66) bt Kazakhstan 1 (Nuserbajev 29); Scotland 1 (Naismith 35) drew with Canada 1 (Aird 11). "They play more football now".

The performances of Alli and Lallana received praise from many on Twitter...

Lukas Podolski will captain injury-hit Germany on his farewell global appearance in Wednesday's friendly against England, head coach Joachim Loew has confirmed.

Ultimately though, it ended in defeat for England, with many fans concerned about the prospect of the "same old England" despite the appointment of a new manager...

The 31-year-old received a standing ovation in Dortmund after a pre-match presentation to mark his 13-year worldwide career.

"I think it was a very good game in the end".

Podolski, who had a shot blocked and had blazed over in the first half, again went close in the second before he finally claimed his 49th and last worldwide goal for a flawless ending.

"I'm very pleased with what we learned, the manner of the performance".

Keane looked calm and assured alongside Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill whereas Ryan Bertrand and Kyle Walker were naturally suited to the wing-back roles.

Certainly, Southgate did not rule out a similar-style finale for England's greatest goalscorer, despite the fact it would be unprecedented in English football, avoiding the issue by joking that a direct question about such a match had come after time had been called on an informal briefing following the game in Dortmund.

"From the atmosphere in the stadium you could see the connection I have with people from Cologne". Now they have a good team, good guys, good characters.

Head coach Joachim Low felt the occasion was a fitting one for a player who sits third on the all-time appearance and goalscoring lists for Germany and lifted the World Cup in 2014. At least the team were trying to show they were moving forward.

"I couldn't have written a better script", Mueller said.

"We came in at half-time and know we had three of the best chances of the half - I had one, Dele (Alli) had one and Keano (Michael Keane) had an effort that went over".

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